MoJ contests attempted suspension of Supreme Court laws

Poland's Constitutional Tribunal will decide whether the Supreme Court's decision was constitutional. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

In a motion to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, Justice Minister and Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro contested the Supreme Court's attempted suspension of some of its own retirement regulations after queries were sent to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Mr Ziobro argues that Polish legislation foresees no possibility to suspend its binding laws, and appealed to Poland’s constitutional court to state the unconstitutionality of the Supreme Court’s decision.

According to Mr Ziobro, the Supreme Court had “grossly exceeded” its competences in attempting to suspend the retirement laws and referring the matter to the ECJ.

The Supreme Court's queries to the ECJ and push to suspend three retirement clauses of the recent judicial reform was triggered after a retirement-eligible judge was present at a case recently heard by one of the court’s chambers.

In its queries, the Supreme Court asked the ECJ about the legality of the questioned judge’s participation in the hearing.

Under the new judicial regulations, Supreme Court judges are obliged to retire when they reach 65 years of age, unless they apply for an extension of their tenure and are subsequently accepted by the President.

On July 2, the European Commission launched the EU law infringement procedure against Poland over new laws regulating the work of the Supreme Court.