EU Takes Legal Action Against Poland Over Court Reform

The European Union announced Saturday that it has taken legal action against Poland’s government over new court reforms widely seen as a threat to the independence of the country’s judicial system. In a statement, the European Commission said it had begun the “infringement procedure,” a process that could see Warsaw slapped with fines and dragged before the European Court of Justice for a series of reforms that has triggered major street protests. Polish authorities now have one month to respond to concerns over new powers given to the country’s justice minister to dismiss and appoint chief justices and prolong the mandate of judges who’ve reached retirement age. The commission also took issue with a new law setting the retirement age for female judges at 60, while that for male judges stands at 65. Polish President Andrzej Duda vetoed two other measures earlier this week that would have solidified political control of the Supreme Court, though the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party has vowed to push ahead with the measures anyway.