Poland’s Supreme Court [official website] ruled Thursday that Supreme Court judges can continue to sit on the court until the Court of Justice of the European Union [official website] rules [press release] on the laws passed by Poland which give the government more control over the judiciary.
One law [text, in Polish] passed [JURIST report] by Poland’s legislative branch last week would give politicians the ability to select justices. Another law would force [Reuters report] about one-third of the justices into retirement by lowering the mandatory retirement age.
The laws were passed by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party. Reuters described the Law and Justice Party as one that “combines left-leaning economics with nationalist and eurosceptic politics.”
The European Commission launched [JURIST report] an infringement procedure against Poland’s judiciary laws at the beginning of July.
Poland’s president Andrzej Duda [official website] said that the Supreme Court ruling was invalid.
According to Bloomberg, tensions are growing [report] between Poland and the EU. The EU “is mulling unprecedented sanctions—possibly including cuts in development aid—over the country’s alleged failure to uphold democratic standards.”
Poland also drew international criticism in June for passing [JURIST report] legislation making it illegal to say that Poland played a role in Holocaust atrocities.