POLAND: ENCJ to assess KRS
The European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) is reviewing the membership status of its Polish member, the State Judiciary Council (KRS). Last week, representatives of the KRS were asked to meet with the networks executive body. Due to the recent statutory reforms of the KRS, which were part of a wider judiciary overhaul, the ENCJ has expressed concerns and requested reassurance that the KRS still adheres to the purposes and statutes of the network. A decision as to KRS’ membership has not been made.
The ENCJ is an organization, which aims to strengthen cooperation amongst European councils and promote independent judiciaries. Still, membership is voluntary; if KRS loses its ENCJ status it is unlikely that further implications will follow. However, the ENCJ’s decision and position on the Polish judiciary reforms may prove another obstacle in the ongoing negotiations about Article 7 sanctions. Concessions made by the Polish government have previously been criticized for being insufficient and superficial. Public criticism of the legal community in Europe may strengthen the arguments of the European Commission and require increased efforts of the government.