Polish Supreme Court judges turn to ECJ for help

The dismissed judges of Poland's Supreme Court have taken their case to the European Court of Justice. They refuse to go into retirement, as the controversial judicial reform of the national conservative PiS government stipulates. Commentators highlight the risks of this conflict.

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Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

Will the government go to extremes?

The PiS government should think carefully about how it would react to a possible ECJ reprimand, jurist and political scientist Wojciech Sadurski urges in Gazeta Wyborcza:

“We don't yet know the answer to the question of what the Polish government will do if the ECJ agrees with the doubts put forward by the Polish Supreme Court. It could act in accordance with the promise often made by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki that Poland will respect the judgements of the ECJ. ... But should it break with the precept of the precedence of European law, it would call into question one of the rules of our membership in the EU. Poland would then be the bad guy in the EU, and its exiting the EU would become a pretty realistic scenario.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

The last safeguards are being removed

The conservative daily Rzeczpospolita sides with the judges:

“The PiS is doing its best to dismantle the judicial system - the last thing limiting its omnipotence. The opposition and the judges are fighting to ensure that the political safeguards that prevent democracy from being transformed into a more or less well disguised form of authoritarianism remain in place. Perhaps the PiS doesn't want to abolish democracy. Nevertheless it is doing all it can to get its hands on the tools that will allow it to do just that. And that in itself is a huge risk.”