Poland accuses Brussels of double standards in judiciary row

WARSAW, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Poland accused the European Union on Saturday of double standards for questioning the country's Constitutional Tribunal, intensifying a spat between Warsaw and Brussels ahead of a visit by the bloc's top rule of law official.

Poland's legal system has been thrown into chaos, with cases being postponed, since its top court decreed that rulings made by judges appointed under new government rules could be challenged. At the same time, parliament passed a law that critics say aims to muzzle judges.

The European Commission said on Friday it was "very concerned" about the situation, warning that the legitimacy and independence of the Constitutional Tribunal had been seriously undermined.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski called the Commission's position "a very serious inconsistency."

"We treat this ... as a very serious use of double standards regarding what expectations the Commission has of Poland and of itself," he said.

Jablonski referred to a European Commission recommendation issued in late 2017, in which the EU's executive body called on Polish authorities to "refrain from actions and public statements which could undermine further the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, the ordinary courts, judges, individually or collectively, or the judiciary as a whole."

sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more

The ruling nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS) had previously asked the Constitutional Tribunal to investigate whether the Supreme Court had the right to rule on the legitimacy of judges appointed under the new rules.

Critics say that the Constitutional Tribunal, headed by Julia Przylebska who is described by PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski as a "close friend", is not independent.

The European Commission asked the EU's highest court on Friday to freeze the new law passed by parliament on Thursday that allows for the dismissal of judges who are critical of government changes to the judiciary.

The EU's Values and Transparency Commissioner Vera Jourova is due to be in Warsaw on Tuesday to meet ministers and the Supreme Court president Malogorzata Gersdorf among other officials. (Reporting by Anna Koper and Alan Charlish Editing by Helen Popper)

sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more

all right reserved for yahoo news

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV New mother 21 Becca Keeley Gravesend Kent becomes UK's youngest grandma after ...
NEXT Democratic candidates facing off on stage in South Carolina: Live updates