25 September 2023

POLAND: Retirement law concerns EU

Start the conversation


A top European legal official says Poland’s reforms of its Supreme Court, including lowering judges’ retirement age, are contrary to European Union law.

Advocate-General, Evgeni Tanchev (pictured) said the European Court of Justice should rule that the provisions of Polish laws relating to the lowering of the retirement age of Supreme Court judges to 65 were in breach of EU law.

His advice follows infringement proceedings launched by the European Commission in April.

“The contested measures violate the principles of irremovability of judges and of judicial independence,” Mr Tanchev wrote.

Poland introduced a new law on the Supreme Court in April 2018, lowering the retirement age for Supreme Court judges and obliging judges who turn 65 before a 3 July cut-off date to stand down, unless they had made an official request to the Polish President to extend their mandate and had a health certificate showing they were fit to continue.

The European Commission opened infringement proceedings against Poland earlier this month amid concerns that the new law, introduced by the country’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, contradicted EU rule-of-law principles.

Mr Tanchev noted that the “external intervention and pressure” from Poland’s President was a particular cause for concern.

“The Presidential Seal of Approval for a judge to continue to serve impairs the Court’s objective independence, and influences the decisions judges will inevitably make,” Mr Tanchev said.

The European Court of Justice in December ordered Poland to suspend the lowering of judges’ retirement age, which the PiS had already said it would scrap.

A final judgement on that is pending.

Warsaw, 11 April 2019

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.