The legislation which has been brought before parliament to alter the disciplinary system for judges in order to meet the demands of the European Commission requires extensive review and consultation “to avoid the danger of introducing chaos into Poland’s legal system,” the leader of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), Jarosław Kaczyński, has told weekly Gazeta Polska.
Asked whether the legislation would fulfill the EU commission’s milestones on the rule of law so that Poland could receive its EU recovery fund allocation, Kaczyński said that it probably would but warned there is a real danger it would cause severe problems for the judicial system in Poland, which could in turn damage Poland’s ability to absorb the main part of its EU funding from the general EU budget.
Kaczyński seems to agree with President Andrzej Duda that the legislation could result in some judges’ nominations being questioned.
The legislation, which has been reportedly agreed with Brussels, was submitted to parliament last week. According to the legislation, the disciplining of judges would shift from the Supreme Court to the administrative court (NSA) and would enable courts to challenge the status of individual judges under certain conditions. The government had hoped that the legislation might be rushed through parliament by the end of the year.
However, as a result of an intervention by President Duda, it has been agreed to delay debating the legislation until Jan. 11.
Duda said on Thursday that he had not been consulted with regarding the legislation and appealed for careful consideration of the legislative draft. He underlined that he would not agree to any measure that could undermine or attempt to verify his judicial nominations as they are his prerogative under the constitution.