A non-governmental think tank in Poland asked the justice ministry for the names of judges who backed candidates elected onto the National Council of the Judiciary. All it received was a list with the names removed.
In response, the Civil Development Forum (FOR Foundation) says it will take the ministry to court in the name of transparency.
As reported by Euronews, this incident raises more questions about the controversial judicial reforms spearheaded by the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS). The government is also locked in a two-year battle with the European Union which has been concerned over judicial independence.
Last week, the lower house of parliament, the Sejm, approved amendments – one of which would remove the justice minister’s ability to fire judges without consultation.
After the Senate, the amendments still need to be approved by President Andrzej Duda.
Earlier, the Commission hinted that a deal could be reached which would remove its threat to punish Poland with sanctions. Other EU countries have been considering linking the flow of EU funds to Poland to its adherence to the rule of law.
The leader of Law and Justice, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said recently there was an “80%” chance of success.
The FOR Foundation, however, said the public still has no idea who backed them or whether they meet the necessary qualifications. It claims only two people know – and both are members of the ruling party.