The European Court of Justice ruled today that the Polish legislation concerning the lowering of the retirement age of judges of the Supreme Court is contrary to EU law.

The European Commission launched the infringement procedure in Autumn last year regarding the new disciplinary regime for judges.  It deemed that the regime undermined the judicial independence of Polish judges by not offering necessary guarantees to protect them from political control, as required by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Reacting to the news, the European Green Party co-chairs Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:

“The ECJ’s ruling should spur Polish authorities into taking urgent action to reinstate the judges who were forced into early retirement. The independence of the judiciary and the irremovability of judges are key elements of a healthy democracy and must be upheld. Poland puts at risk decades of democratic progress if it fails to take strong and decisive action to restore the independence of its judiciary and root out political meddling.  Our hope is that a reversal would not only strengthen the judiciary but help renew Poland’s commitment to democracy and European values.”