The European Court of Justice imposes a penalty payment on Poland. This is due to the country‘s refusal to abolish the disputed disciplinary chamber. The penalty payment is one million euros a day.
The highest European Court wants the Disciplinary Chamber, which looks at and punishes judges, to disappear. The Chamber, whose members are appointed by politics, may dismiss judges and prosecutors or inactive and reprimand judges and prosecutors for judgments that do not sense the room. That is contrary to the rules governing an independent and impartial judiciary, according to the court.
The court ruled in July that Poland violates European law with the disciplinary board. Poland has been refusing to reform the legal system for a long time.
In August, Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the government party Pis, said the government would dissolve the disciplinary chamber in its current form. The first reform proposals would be announced in September, but there are still no.
The European Commission, which is responsible for controlling the rule of law, asked for sanctions against Poland at the beginning of September. Commission President Von der Leyen said: “The legal systems throughout the European Union must be independent and fair.”
The court previously instructed Poland to deprive the disciplinary chamber of the right to rule on requests for the waiver of the immunity of judges and on the deployment and retirement of judges.
Brown Coal Mine
The wait is now for Poland to follow the court orders. Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro spoke in September of “aggression against Poland” and a “legal hybrid war”. Deputy Minister Sebastian Kaleta calls today’s statement “presumptuous” and speaks of blackmail.
On 20 September, the European Court of Justice already imposed a penalty of half a million euros a day for holding a lignite mine on the border with Germany. The mine is still open.
Poland clashed with the EU again at the beginning of this month. The Polish Constitutional Court then ruled that Polish law exceeds European law. That decision was also condemned by the EU countries. The Court of Justice has not yet delivered a ruling on that.