17 grudnia 2018
Presidential Palace

President Andrzej Duda has signed into law a bill amending the law on the Supreme Court (SN), the deputy head of the President's Office, Pawel Mucha, announced on Monday.

The amendment reinstates Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court judges who retired after reaching the age of 65.

According to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which authored the amendment, approved by both houses of parliament in November, the legislation was necessary as Poland could not directly apply the interim measures imposed by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

The EU Court of Justice on Monday upheld its earlier decision and ordered that Poland must immediately suspend application of the provisions of national legislation relating to lowering the retirement age of Supreme Court judges.

Under the amendment, Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court judges will no longer be required to ask the President for consent to continue in their role when they reach the age of 65. Judges will also have the option to remain retired.

The amendment concerns the Supreme Court Act of December 2017 that entered into force on April 3, 2018. The act lowered the retirement age of SN judges from 70 to 65, unless the head of state let them continue. Several judges duly retired shortly afterwards, while First President of the Supreme Court Malgorzata Gersdorf, who also has turned 65, maintained, together with the whole SN, that under the constitution she remains the court's first president until 2020.

The amendment also changes the procedure of election of the presidents of the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Chamber and the Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chamber. (PAP)