Poland Passes Reforms to Controversial Judicial System

Polish Parliament approves judicial reform, despite criticism from President

The Polish Parliament approved this Friday an amendment to its controversial judicial reform, which the Government says complies with European Union requirements to ensure judicial independence. The proposed text, which has been the center of debate in recent days, obtained the favorable vote of 203 deputies and 52 against and with 189 abstentions.

The main changes include transferring disciplinary proceedings for judges to the Supreme Administrative Court to replace the Chamber of Professional Responsibility. This requires abandoning proceedings against sanctioned magistrates by the Disciplinary Chamber which was harshly criticized by the judiciary and European institutions.

In November 2021, the European Commission imposed a one million euro fine per day on Poland and suspended 36,000 million euros of post-pandemic recovery fund allocated to Warsaw.

Government spokesman Piotr Müller said “the way is open to receive the funds in May or June” after the reform is approved. However, it must still be passed by the Senate and receive the presidential sanction of President Andrzej Duda. Duda expressed suspicions about this reform and said he would read it carefully before deciding.

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