Government issues a statement on situation in Polish judiciary
Polish government is concerned with conduct of judges who question in their comments and actions the status of other judges, manipulating the ECJ ruling - reads a statement issued on Tuesday by the Polish government regarding the situation in the justice system.
"A rule of law state is based on independent courts. On independent judges who answer only to the law and the Polish Constitution. Questioning of judges' status and legality of rulings they issue undermines the consitutional foundations of the rule of law state. It creates legal chaos in Poland. It raises uncertainty in Poles as to legality of verdicts issued by courts, that settle over a dozen million cases each year," the statement reads.
Because of that, the Council of Ministers expressed concern with "conduct of those judges who question in their comments and actions the status of other judges, manipulating in that way the ruling issued on November 19 by the Court of Justice of the European Union".
"Judges calling upon other judges to cease from issuing verdicts is an unprecedented situation which violates judicial independence and undermines trust in the justice system," the Council of Ministers wrote.
The statement also mentions government's intention to continue the reforms aimed at improving functioning of courts and rebuilding trust in them, "by guaranteeing actual independence for judges, free from pressure of their own circle, as well as political influence".
Thousands took to the streets across Poland on Sunday (December 1) to show solidarity with judges after one was suspended for questioning the ruling party's judicial reforms, in a sign that concerns over the rule of law will mark its second term in power.
Since taking office in 2015 Law and Justice (PiS) has been at loggerheads with the European Union over reforms which critics say undermine judicial independence.
Protesters gathered in at least 105 towns and cities according to organizers, waving Polish and European Union flags and brandishing placards with slogans such as "Save Poland from (Justice Minister Zbigniew) Ziobro."