Ireland refuses to extradite Pole to Poland

An Irish court has halted the extradition of a Pole wanted on drug trafficking charges under a European arrest warrant. The High Court in Dublin referred the matter to the European Court of Justice over concerns about the state of Polish justice after the reforms carried out by the PiS government. What repercussions will this dispute have?

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Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

Far more serious than rule-of-law proceedings

Gazeta Wyborcza believes that the current conflict is a greater threat to Poland's position within the EU than the rule-of-law proceedings initiated by the latter:

“The decision by Ireland's highest court to let the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg rule on whether or not the extradition of a Pole to his home country is admissible could lead to a comprehensive assessment of the PiS government's judicial reforms. That would also involve the issue of the right to a fair trial. In the eyes of many EU experts the European Court of Justice is a far more effective instrument than sanctions under Article 7 of the EU treaty.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Warsaw won't be intimidated

The Polish government won't bow to foreign pressure this time either, The Irish Times suspects:

“The High Court's decision was taken on legal grounds. But opponents of the overhaul overseen by the nationalist Law and Justice Party - a sweeping set of changes that includes the merger of the general prosecutor with the justice minister, the dismissal of court presidents and controversial appointments to the constitutional tribunal - will hope it has a political effect. That's unlikely. Warsaw has proved unembarrassable and impervious to moral pressure from its neighbours.”