President Duda sent the controversial amendment to the Constitutional Court

President Duda sent the controversial amendment to the Constitutional Court

President Duda sent a controversial amendment to the Constitutional Court

Polish President Andrzej Duda, January 24, 2023.

Warsaw – Polish President Andrzej Duda announced today that he will not sign the just-adopted amendment to the law on the Supreme Court, nor will he veto it, but will send her to the Constitutional Court. The law is considered one of the key milestones, the achievement of which depends on whether the European Commission will release billions of euros to Poland from the fund for economic recovery after the covid-19 pandemic, Gazeta Wyborcza reminded on its website.

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“I was and am a supporter of a compromise. I care about using the funds from the recovery plan as quickly as possible, which are needed for the development of the Polish economy. That's why I decided not to veto the amendment,” explained the president, according to TVN 24 television.

President's the decision means that the law will not enter into force until the constitutional court confirms that it does not violate the constitution, the Onet server wrote.

Gazeta Wyborcza recalled that Duda expressed reservations about the amendment in December. He warned at the time that he would not sign anything that could call into question his earlier judicial nominations. From the beginning, the Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro, who heads a smaller coalition party, has also opposed the amendment.

Ziobro, who has been the engine of controversial changes in the Polish judiciary in recent years, claims that the amendment is the result of ” blackmailing Brussels”, violates the constitution, limits Polish sovereignty and deepens the crisis in the judiciary.

Ziobra's supporters in parliament voted against the law's adoption, but on Wednesday – along with the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party – they voted to reject the changes incorporated into the bill by the opposition-controlled Senate. According to the opposition senators, these 14 changes brought Poland closer to meeting the demands of Brussels and releasing the money. However, PiS concluded that no changes in the amendment are necessary.

The law is considered unconstitutional not only by Ziobro, but also by the opposition, which nevertheless first helped PiS adopt it in the hope of money from the EU, as well as many experts, wrote Gazeta Wyborcza. She also recalled the words of Professor Ryszard Piotrowski in the Senate that the norm threatens the rule of law. In the opinion of judges, lawyers and lawyers from non-governmental organizations, the amendment will not meet the conditions of Brussels and will deepen the chaos in the judiciary, the newspaper added. of independent institutions threaten the principles of the rule of law. The European Commission has therefore set the fulfillment of “milestones” confirming the independence of the Polish judiciary as a condition for the payment of subsidies in the amount of 23.9 billion euros (574 billion crowns) and access to cheap loans for 11.5 billion euros (276 billion CZK).

According to the amendment, the Supreme Administrative Court will be in charge of disciplinary proceedings against judges, instead of the relatively recently created Chamber of Professional Responsibility operating at the Supreme Court. It replaced the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court, which the European Commission considered politicized.

However, experts object that the Supreme Administrative Court is supposed to control public administration according to the constitution.