Polish president signs amendment to Supreme Court law after ECJ's order
President Andrzej Duda has signed the amendment to the Supreme Court law that allows the judges who were sent to retirement after reaching 65 years of age to return to the court duties, informed the Deputy Chief of the President's Chancellery Paweł Mucha on Monday evening.
As Mucha announced, a more extensive communique in regard to president's decision should appear later on Monday or on Tuesday morning.
Lower house of Polish parliament adopted the amendment on the 21st of November, two days later it was backed by the Senate. The bill later went to the president who, according to the law, has 21 days to ratify it. Monday, the 17th of December was the deadline.
The amendment pertains to the Supreme Court law from December 2017, that entered into effect on April 3rd 2018. The new law allows the Supreme Court's and the Supreme Administrative Court's judges who were forced into retirement after reaching 65 years of age to return to fulfilling their duties in the position held on the 3rd of April 2018. "Service in the position of Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court judge is considered uninterrupted," reads the amendment.
The judges falling in the scope of the amendment may, however, remain retired, as long as they submit a proper statement within 7 days from the day the new law becomes effective. Such statement must be submitted to the president via the National Council of the Judiciary.
The amendment also assumes that if on its basis a judge who used to be the First President of the President of the Supreme Court return to his or hers duties, their tenure will be considered uninterrupted. The regulation pertains to the First President of the Supreme Court Małgorzata Gersdorf, as well as Presidents of two of the courts chambers - Stanisław Zabłocki and Józef Iwulski.
EU Court's final order
The European Court of Justice ruled earlier on Monday that Poland must immediately suspend a new law that lowered the age of retirement of its Supreme Court judges, provisionally backing the European Commission in its battle with Warsaw.
The top court had already asked Poland in an interim judgment in October to halt the overhaul of its Supreme Court and to reinstate judges forced into early retirement. The court on Monday backed this ruling, saying the suspension of the Polish law was justified.