BREAKING NEWS StormTeam 3: Storms starting to pop up around southern Minnesota, northern Iowa. Full Story
SEVERE WX : Special Weather Statement View Alerts

Poland must stop 'retiring' Supreme Court judges, EU's top court says

The European Union's highest court ordered Poland to "immediately suspend" the application of a controversia...

Posted: Oct 20, 2018 8:24 AM
Updated: Oct 20, 2018 8:24 AM

The European Union's highest court ordered Poland to "immediately suspend" the application of a controversial law, which lowered the retirement age of its Supreme Court judges, in a ruling Friday.

The "Law on the Supreme Court," which came into force on April 3, mandated that all Supreme Court judges over the age of 65 retire, pushing 27 of the 72 judges off the bench.

Continents and regions

Eastern Europe

Europe

European Union

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - Intl

Government organizations - US

Poland

Politics

US federal court system

US federal government

US Supreme Court

International courts and tribunals

Law and legal system

Law courts and tribunals

Decisions and rulings

Trial and procedure

The government, led by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, insisted that the measures were needed and were put in place to strengthen democracy.

But critics of the law say the move eroded the rule of law, and that its so-called reforms were intended to give Morawiecki's right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) control of the judiciary.

The measure was met by protests across the country and further escalated tensions between the European Union and Poland's government.

In July, the European Commission, which is the politically independent executive branch of the EU, issued a Letter of Formal Notice to Poland, setting out its concerns about judicial independence. It argued that the law is "incompatible with EU law as it undermines the principle of judicial independence," and said that its implementation could lead to "serious and irreparable damage" to the European Union's legal order.

In August, Poland replied to the letter, rejecting the Commission's concerns.

More letters were sent between Poland and the Commission, but they failed to alleviate the Commission's concerns. In September, the Commission referred the case the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

In addition to suspending the application of the law, Friday's ECJ ruling also ordered Poland to reinstate the Supreme Court justices who had already been forced to step down.

"The order of the Vice-President of the Court is to apply, with retroactive effect, to the judges of the Supreme Court concerned by those provisions," it said.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the government had received the decision.

"I can say that certainly after thorough analysis we will take a position," Morawiecki told reporters while attending an EU-Asia summit in Brussels on Friday, Reuters reported.

Malgorzata Gersdorf, the 65-year-old head of Poland's Supreme Court who had refused to step down after the law was implemented, said Friday she was happy with the EU court's ruling.

"I am glad that it happened, that someone took our reasons. But I am not happy that the Polish government -- the government of my country, my homeland -- has not done it before and that we have to stand in the European Tribunal," Gersdorf told local media including the Polish Press Agency.

She previously told CNN in September that the government's judicial reforms were "dangerous" to democracy in a country already in "friction" with the rest of Europe.

The ECJ said the decision was an interim ruling and that it would deliver a final judgment on the case at a later date.

Poland faces financial penalties if it does not comply with the judgment, it said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604052

Reported Deaths: 7616
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1248161773
Ramsey52466895
Dakota46797470
Anoka42724458
Washington27406291
Stearns22552224
St. Louis18134312
Scott17544135
Wright16405148
Olmsted13390102
Sherburne1200195
Carver1066148
Clay825692
Rice8187110
Blue Earth762443
Crow Wing681494
Kandiyohi667585
Chisago619652
Otter Tail585684
Benton582998
Goodhue483474
Douglas475381
Mower470733
Winona461151
Itasca459263
Isanti439964
McLeod430161
Morrison424362
Nobles407950
Beltrami407561
Steele397616
Polk389072
Becker386555
Lyon363853
Carlton352756
Freeborn346932
Pine335023
Nicollet331045
Mille Lacs311454
Brown307840
Le Sueur297225
Cass286032
Todd285632
Meeker263142
Waseca238023
Martin235032
Roseau211021
Wabasha20783
Hubbard196241
Dodge18773
Renville182446
Redwood176338
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena162823
Fillmore157410
Faribault154319
Chippewa153938
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138737
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122612
Pipestone116626
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11296
Murray107010
Swift106918
Koochiching95117
Stevens92411
Clearwater89116
Marshall88817
Lake83120
Wilkin83112
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5938
Lincoln5843
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48093
Red Lake4017
Traverse3765
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 370840

Reported Deaths: 6048
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58221639
Linn21202339
Scott20303247
Black Hawk16106312
Woodbury15237230
Johnson1461485
Dubuque13505211
Dallas1128899
Pottawattamie11219174
Story1071148
Warren583791
Clinton561493
Cerro Gordo553693
Sioux516974
Webster515194
Muscatine4878106
Marshall486576
Des Moines467271
Wapello4337122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper420972
Plymouth402881
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300857
Henry294237
Bremer288161
Carroll286752
Boone268434
Crawford268240
Benton259655
Washington256951
Dickinson249444
Mahaska232352
Jackson225242
Clay216627
Kossuth216166
Tama211871
Delaware210943
Winneshiek198135
Page194522
Buchanan193433
Cedar192223
Hardin187544
Fayette186543
Wright185840
Hamilton181851
Harrison180073
Clayton171057
Butler166135
Madison164619
Mills163724
Floyd163242
Cherokee159438
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152752
Hancock150234
Iowa149824
Winnebago144431
Cass139155
Calhoun138913
Grundy137133
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131537
Sac130920
Union129935
Louisa129649
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124717
Franklin123323
Guthrie123132
Humboldt119526
Palo Alto113523
Howard104922
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96432
Monroe96230
Unassigned9540
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7598
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Ringgold56324
Van Buren56318
Wayne54423
Audubon53511
Adams3444
Rochester
Cloudy
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
91° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 93°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
93° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 94°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
91° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 94°
Strong thunderstorms possible on Thursday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events