Top court said constitution demanded changes to law for appointment of judges
The European court of justice (ECJ) has delivered a damning judgment against Poland on Tuesday in a case relating to the appointments of judges in Poland.
The court ruled that Poland did not follow its rules for the appointment of judges when it sidelined the Roman Catholic bishop Jacek Stoklasa in 2014. The court said the legislation contravened Poland’s constitution, which requires officials to follow procedure and do their homework before taking decisions.
Poland’s ruling conservatives, which had favoured Stoklasa, named former police chief Magdalena Leclerc in her place. The bishop said the move made her more vulnerable to attempts to influence and politically undermine her.
In November 2014, the ECJ ruled in favour of Stoklasa and against the new appointments, saying they were unconstitutional.
The Polish government appointed a new, more pro-government court to hear the case this year and the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) accused the judge of being biased against the government.
The ruling party has blocked judicial reforms, saying the judiciary needs to be reformed.
During its four years in power, PiS has been criticised by the EU and human rights organisations over judicial reforms it says are necessary to overhaul an independent judiciary.
Poland’s conservatives rule out EU checks on judicial reforms Read more
It has also taken other controversial steps that have isolated Poland from its Western European neighbours, including endorsing so-called “conservative values” including opposition to homosexuality and abortion in the official list of family values and rejecting a 2030 international climate change deal.