Poland says it will dismantle disciplinary chamber for judges

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: People protest against judiciary reform in Warsaw

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will dismantle a judges' disciplinary chamber as part of wider judiciary reforms in coming months, the government said on Tuesday after the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the disciplinary mechanism undercuts EU law.

The long-running dispute over Warsaw's judicial reforms has heated up in recent months, with Brussels demanding that Poland implement an EU court ruling to dissolve the contested chamber for judges, which critics say is politicized, by Aug. 16.

"Poland will continue reforms of the judiciary, also in the area of judges' answerability, aimed at improving the efficiency of this system," the government said in a statement, adding that the scrapping of the chamber for judges would be part of the overhaul.

Poland could face financial penalties if it fails to comply with the EU ruling.

Though Poland indicated its intention to dismantle the chamber in the future, the government said in its response to the European Commission on Monday that it would submit a motion to revoke Court of Justice interim measures that could lead to financial penalties if Poland failed to suspend chamber operations in the meantime.

The leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party this month said that Poland would dissolve the chamber and would put forward plans for an alternative disciplinary system in September.

The European Commission said it had received Poland's response and will now analyse it.

"We are looking into the reply before deciding about possible further steps," a Commission spokesperson told a daily news conference.

(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Pawel Florkiewicz in Warsaw and Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; Additional reporting by Alan Charlish; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and David Goodman)

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