Polish MPs back reinstatement of Supreme Court judges
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish MPs on Wednesday approved legislation to reinstate retired Supreme Court judges, reversing a move that triggered a row with Brussels.
Image: QuinceMedia/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative Commons
The legislation was backed by 215 deputies, while 161 were against and 24 abstained.
The planned change in rules will now go to the Senate, Poland’s upper house, for further debate.
The legislation aims to repeal provisions under which judges above the age of 65 were forced into retirement earlier this year.
"If the legislation comes into force, these judges will be able to return to the Supreme Court," conservative MP Marek Ast told reporters earlier on Wednesday.
The Court of Justice of the European Union in October issued an interim injunction ruling that the contested reforms to Poland’s Supreme Court should be suspended.
In July, the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, launched a procedure against Warsaw over the reform, arguing that it undermined “the principle of judicial independence, including the irremovability of judges.”
The move followed the European Commission last December taking the unprecedented step of triggering Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Poland, stepping up pressure on Warsaw over judicial reforms and possibly paving the way for sanctions being imposed on Poland.
Poland's governing Law and Justice party, which came to power in late 2015, has said that sweeping changes were needed to reform an inefficient and sometimes corrupt judicial system tainted by the communist past.