March 08, 2023 16:09 GMT
Six Judges Boycott Constitutional Tribunal's Meeting On Key Judicial Bill
Poland's Constitutional Tribunal convened today to discuss a judicial reform which the government says would help unlock access to EU recovery funds, but only nine out of fifteen justices attended the meeting, as a procedural feud within the country's top court drags on.
- Rzeczpospolita daily cited sources close to the Constitutional Tribunal, who noted that judges met for about an hour but failed to reach any conclusions. Six judges who claim that Chief Justice Julia Przylebska's term has expired did not attend the meeting.
- The Tribunal is assessing the constitutionality of a bill tabled by the government in a bid to address the European Commission's rule-of-law concerns and secure access to more than EUR35bn in EU funding. The legislation would unwind many of the controversial reforms earlier enacted by the ruling coalition.
- Although parliament approved the bill, President Andrzej Duda expressed doubts about the legality of some clauses and used his prerogative to send it to the Constitutional Tribunal, which has the power to strike down unconstitutional legislative proposals.
- The Tribunal is engaged in an internal dispute, with several judges claiming that Chief Justice Przylebska's term in office has expired and she should initiate procedures leading to the election of a new head judge - something Przylebska has been refusing to do, supported by the ruling Law and Justice Party.
- The Constitutional Tribunal takes decisions in cases brought by the President in the presence of at least eleven judges, which means that the Tribunal cannot issue a ruling unless at least two of the rebel judges decide to suspend their boycott.