Poland broke EU law with judicial reform, ECJ rules

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday that Poland has broken EU law when it lowered the retirement age for judges in 2017 and introduced a different retirement age for women and men in the profession, news wires reported.

The ruling is a further blow to the nationalist Polish government in a long-standing battle with the European Commission, which says Warsaw is breaking the rule of law in the country by undermining the independence of courts.

The ruling euro-sceptic Law and Justice party passed a law in 2017 that lowered the retirement age of judges in the ordinary courts and public prosecutors and the age for early retirement of judges of the Supreme Court to 60 years for women and 65 years for men, from 67 for both sexes. It also gave the justice minister, a politician from the ruling party, the power to extend the period of active service of judges in the ordinary courts beyond the new retirement ages.

The European Commission said those rules were contrary to EU law, and sued Poland in the European Court of Justice.

 

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