Polish Government must suspend disciplinary chamber, respect the Rule of Law
Renew Europe MEPs have today welcomed the ruling of the European Court of Justice that Poland should immediately suspend the powers of a Supreme Court chamber created to discipline judges, since it is not independent.
Over one week since the Hungarian Government acted to close its Parliament and implement draconian measures for an unlimited period, Renew Europe still awaits a coherent and forceful stance from the European Commission and swift action from the Council.
Michal Šimečka, shadow rapporteur for the Article 7(1) TEU procedure in relation to Poland reacted to today’s ruling:
“I welcome the Court’s interim ruling on the disciplinary regime for judges in Poland. It represents an important milestone in ensuring that common standards of judicial independence are enforced throughout the Union. The Member States remain competent for organising their judicial systems, but they have to respect the rule of law when doing so. The European Union was built on a shared tradition of constitutional principles – governments and citizens must urgently realise that even one or two Member States abandoning them would erode the foundations of the EU as a whole. ”
Sophie In’ t Veld MEP, Renew Europe Coordinator on the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee commented
“Today the ECJ gives a very important signal: the EU is a community of values and a community of law. It is not the jungle, we have common rules and standards that we all have to adhere to. If one link is weak, the whole chain is weak. Therefore this concerns us all”
“The so-called disciplinary court is merely an instrument of the government to control and intimidate judges. An independent judiciary is crucial for a healthy democracy. We all want to know we are equally protected by law, but also that governments are not immune or shielded from prosecution and trial, if they engage in corruption or crime”
“The ECJ has proven to be a bastion for the rule of law. But we cannot leave the defence of our European values - democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights - only to the judges. It is high time government leaders in the Council take political responsibility and tackle the rule of law crisis in several parts of the EU.”