Published On: Wed, Jul 4th, 2018

Polish populist government attempts to weaken judicial system with new law


For the populist government of Poland, the country’s judicial system was a huge constraint. There was no surprise when the government decided to launch a new law to reduce the retirement age of Supreme Court judges from seventy to sixty-five. It was clear that the government, while taking that decision, was less concerned about the future of the democracy in the country, and more focused on the sustainability of its newly perceived populist ideologies.

Literally, the implementation of the new law means the elimination of at least forty per cent of judges from the judicial system.

Though, according to the new law, there are provisions that the judges can file request before the president to extend their term highlighting the reason for the request, the preponderance of the outgoing judges are less likely to be retained in their respective post with the special permission of the country’s top leader as there are no compulsions in the new law that all those applied for the request should be granted permission to remain in the respective capacities. Actually, there is no powerful grievance redressal mechanism in the new law to address the concerns of those judges who are not happy with the law. In a sense, the aforesaid fact is what that has tempted the European Union to criticise the law and to ask for the reconsideration of the law.

Anyway, at least eleven judges including Chief Justice Malgorzata Gersdorf have refused to file the request for extension before the president. This clearly means that these judges may be forced to step down. Anyway, this European country is less away from a serious political crisis.

Meanwhile, the ruling government has justified its position and claimed that the new law would help to contain corruption and improve the efficiency of the country’s judicial system.


Vignesh. S. G

Photo Courtesy: Google/ images are subject to copyright 

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Polish populist government attempts to weaken judicial system with new law