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EU promises legal action against Poland judicial reform

Brussels –   The European Commission on Tuesday said that it would pursue legal action against Poland over the country’s controversial judicial reforms.

The EU began legal action against Poland in July over the reforms and their potential impact on the independence of the courts.

On Tuesday, the commission sent Poland a “reasoned opinion,” which is a formal request to comply with EU law.

“The commission found that at this stage, the concerns originally raised have not been adequately addressed,” Margaritis Schinas, the spokesman for the commission said in Brussels.

The commission gave Poland one month to comply with the request; otherwise the case could be referred to the European Court of Justice.

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“We will be thoroughly analysing the commission’s reasoned opinion and we will reply in due course,” a Polish spokesperson said.

In a letter of notice sent at the end of July, the commission took issue with a law enacted as part of a judiciary reform, saying it introduced different retirement ages for judges.

This includes the commission 60 years for women and 65 years for men noting that the development breached EU anti-discrimination laws.

The commission also raised concern over the independence of Polish courts.

The controversial reforms grant the justice minister the power to hire and fire the heads of lower courts as well as extend the mandates of judges who have reached retirement age. (dpa/NAN)

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