President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Wants to Suspend the Polish Disciplinary Chamber Urgently
The controversial Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court is one of many other judiciary reforms which the PiS, the Polish nationalist ruling party, carried out since 2015. The Disciplinary Chamber allows for judges to be fined, degraded and discharged. Von der Leyen expects the highest European judge to pause the proceedings immediately. Michiel Luining, lecturer at the Institute of Public Administration, reacts in an article on NU.nl.
In November, the European Court of Justice made clear to Poland that this Disciplinary Chamber, which is indirectly politically chosen, is in conflict with the European rules and undermines the independence of the rule of law. However, the Polish government disregarded this warning as well as the ruling of the Polish Supreme Court which was based on it.
At the moment, a lawsuit has been initiated against the Polish by the European Commission. Luining comments that these procedures can often take months or even years. To deter any eventually damaging activities in the meantime, it is possible to request provisional measures from the Court. This provisional measure would assure that the proceedings of the Disciplinary Chamber are suspended until the European Court of Justice releases a definite judgement. If Poland ignores this, they would be risking a high penalty payment, said Luining.
Luining: ‘Partially thanks to this measure, the Polish Supreme Court is still independent’. Also, Luining expects that the Court will accept the request of von der Leyen, because Poland has neglected the verdict of its own Supreme Court earlier. ‘Now that this jurisprudence exists, the Court of Justice will assert that it is too important and, therefore, delegate a provisional measure’, predicts Luining.