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POLAND: Warsaw Adheres to CJEU Interim Measures

On Wednesday, the Sejm passed an amendment bill on the Supreme Court, which restores certain provisions to their state prior 3 April 2018 – its draft was submitted to the Sejm by PiS MPs the same day. The bill assumes that judges of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court who retired on the basis of the provisions, will be legally restored to the office they held on 3 April 2018 – their service will be considered uninterrupted. Additionally, judges who reach the retirement age of 65, will be able to continue their service if they issue a statement of will.

European Commission spokesperson Mina Andreewa commented that the EC is satisfied with the changes introduced.  Still, the legislative process has to be completed and the bill enforced. It remains to be seen whether the draft will maintain its provisions or if amendments will be introduced by the Senate – the signature of President Duda will also be required. The matter of CJEU proceedings reamins uncertain. Only the European Commission – specifically Frans Timmermans – may decide to withdraw the case from the Court. If this does not happen, and the amendment bill is enacted, the CJEU may still rule on the case. The ruling, however, will no longer be applicable. The political motivations behind PiS’ step, giving ground to EU demands, will only become apparent when there is a formal response from the EU.