The Polish Government has ended up retreating in his controversial reform of the Supreme Court. The party of the Executive, the ultra-conservative Law and Justice (PiS), has presented on Wednesday in the Sejm (the Parliament of the country) a seventh amendment to the law that included the reinstatement of the 27 judges who were retired compulsorily last July. As we demanded a little more than a month, the Court of Luxembourg. With 215 votes in favour and 161 against, the amendment has been approved way to express thanks to the parliamentary majority of the PiS (Polish Law and Justice party). In fact, the Government has only needed four hours to give back to one of its most controversial measures.
"The draft law is in line with the Polish Constitution and with european standards", declared the minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziobro. "Our Government has emphasized that we are in the EU, we respect your rules and respect your principles," he added.MORE INFORMATION Robert Biedron: “The Polish Government is destroying the structure of the State” Attack on the justice Polish Brussels launches an unprecedented attack on the authoritarian drift of Poland Poland defies Brussels and pushes forward with its reform of the judiciary
The draft parliamentary also recognizes as legitimate president of the Supreme Malgorzata Gersdorf and declares that the mandate of the judge has never been interrupted. Until now, neither the president of the Republic, Andrzej Doubt, neither the General Council of the Judiciary (KRS, for its acronym in Polish) considered Gersdorf, of 65 years, as president of the maximum court because she was within the group of judges who had reached the maximum age to continue working, as dictated by the new law.
The jubilee to nearly a third of the judges of the Supreme, the president of the Republic had a free hand to make new appointments. In the case of Gersdorf, she defied the Government and went to work each day since I received the termination letter last July. Now the new amendment goes back up to 70 years of retirement for such judges of the Supreme.
The Government, led in the shade by the ultra-conservative Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has ended up accepting the decision of the Luxembourg Court that, for the first time in its history, blocked on a provisional basis in a country of the EU, a reform of both the draft constitution. The European Commission denounced to their colleagues Polish when you consider that this law violates the principles of the rule Tipobet of law, the sixth largest economy of the EU. The european Court of Justice gave last October 19, a period of a month to the Executive of PiS to fulfill the precautionary measures and to submit just the 19 of November, a first report. But the Pee has gone much further and has decided to change aspects more substantial reform.
"This change express is a capitulation of the Government of the PiS. Have been afraid of the possible economic sanctions that could apply to the Court in Luxembourg", says Jakub Urbanik, jurist and professor of Roman Law at the University of Warsaw. If the Executive Polish would have continued to defy Brussels, the contempt would have resulted in a possible fine, crossing a red line that would have cracked even more the already deteriorated relations between the EU and Poland.
"This express exchange represents a capitulation to the Government of the PiS," says the lawyer, Jakub Urbanik
Since the PiS came to power, has carried out a profound reform of the justice in Poland that has affected not only the Supreme Court but also the Constitutional or ordinary courts. As a result, in December of 2017, the EU activated the mechanism to implement article 7 of the european treaty, which involves the loss of your voting rights on community decisions.
"There are several hypotheses that explain this shift: first of all is that Law and Justice knows that in the face of the european elections of 2019 will want to let go of the conflict and calm the situation", explained the jurist and political scientist Wojciech Brzozowski.
This Tuesday, the vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, urged again to Warsaw to change as soon as possible of course. Some voices of the opposition believe that the Pee has to be understood that the position antieuropea that has kept you can pass bill in the legislative elections next year. "Now they do everything they can to pretend that they move away from the eurosceptics," says an analyst with Polish close to the main opposition party, Civic Platform, who prefer to keep their anonymity.
The judge Monika Frackowiak, the organization of magistrates poles Iustitia, breathes, relieved by the change of attitude of the Government. "Although we can not forget that the situation has changed thanks to the european court. Demonstrating the strength of community institutions in such a time as this", says by phone. Yes, the judge is still not simply rely on the Executive: "Now the amendment has to be passed in the Senate and then has to ratify the president of the Republic. With the PiS you never know". Gersdorf also prefers to remain cautious. "Don't know what can happen," he said this morning.Low popularity of the Law and Justice party
A survey conducted by the consulting firm Kantar Millward Brown points to a major drop in popularity of the ruling party in Poland. The Pee fell five percentage points in two months, up to 33%, while Civic Platform, the main opposition party, increased by five percentage points to 26%. These data, published this Tuesday, have been released a week after the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza uncovered the corruption scandal that has splashed to the president of the Financial Supervisory Authority, Marek Chrzanowski.
According to the journal, Chrzanowski made a bid undue to the owner of a bank in trouble, which led to a Government investigation. Chrzanowski has ended up resigning. The local and regional elections of October were a bitter victory for the PiS. They won in the regions, but not got any mayor in the big cities. And has already begun the race for the european elections in may 2019 and the parliamentary elections in poland in November.