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President signs bill scrapping disciplinary chamber for judges

On Monday, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a bill that strikes down a disciplinary chamber for judges, a necessary step for Poland to receive over EUR 35 billion in post-pandemic recovery funds from the European Union.

The announcement was made by Paweł Szrot, the head of the president’s office. He told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that the law had been sent for publication in the Journal of Laws.

“The last analyses took less time than expected. Law to be published,” Mr Szrot wrote on social media.

Ostatnie analizy trwały krócej niż się spodziewałem. Ustawa do publikacji.

— Paweł Szrot (@PSzrot) June 13, 2022

Funds released under conditions

On June 1, the European Commission approved Poland’s national post-pandemic recovery plan (KPO) and now the country stands to receive EUR 35.4 billion from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

However, the release of the money has been conditioned on the requirement to dissolve the disciplinary chamber for judges at Poland’s Supreme Court and reform the disciplinary procedure for judges.

The Chamber of Professional Responsibility

The bill, which had been submitted to parliament by Mr Duda, envisages setting up a new body at the Supreme Court called the Chamber of Professional Responsibility, whose 11 judges would be appointed by the president.

In a vote on Thursday, Poland’s Lower House of Parliament (Sejm) finally approved the bill on the Supreme Court without 23 of the 29 amendments recommended by the Senate.

The rejected amendments included the annulment of rulings issued by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court before it is liquidated and the requirement of at least seven years of adjudication in the Supreme Court for the judges to sit on the Chamber of Professional Responsibility.

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