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    Government Spokesman: Ruling Party Aims to Reform Judiciary Upon Reelection

    Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has announced its intentions to undertake a sweeping overhaul of the judicial system if it emerges victorious in the upcoming parliamentary election this autumn, according to the Polish government spokesperson.

    In an interview with a state-owned radio station, Piotr Mueller expressed PiS’s discontent with the current state of judicial reforms, for which Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro has been held responsible. Mueller emphasized the party’s commitment to implementing a comprehensive reform program aimed at expediting the case review process. While acknowledging some progress in this area, he stressed the need for further improvements.

    When asked about the nature of this reform, Mueller admitted that a complete restructuring of the judiciary system might be necessary.

    Mueller emphasized that the entire United Right coalition, led by PiS, should collaborate in preparing the reform, despite existing differences among its members. This includes Zbigniew Ziobro, who not only serves as the justice minister but also leads Sovereign Poland, a small Eurosceptic ally within the ruling coalition.

    Ziobro has clashed with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on multiple occasions, accusing him of being too lenient in his dealings with Brussels. Morawiecki, in response, criticized Ziobro’s reforms for failing to bring substantial improvements to the actual functioning of the courts, despite Ziobro’s seven-year tenure as justice minister.

    On February 10, President Andrzej Duda submitted a crucial bill, known as the Supreme Court bill, to the Constitutional Tribunal (TK) for evaluation before it is signed into law. The bill aims to reform the disciplinary regime for judges. Its passage through the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, on January 13 is expected to fulfill one of the milestones set by the European Commission (EC) for Poland to access the post-pandemic recovery funds from the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Poland is set to receive EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in low-interest loans from this fund.

    The government has promoted this reform as a means to unlock EU funding. However, Sovereign Poland has consistently opposed any concessions in the conflict with Brussels.

    Recently, Vice President of the European Commission, Vera Jourova, stated that the revised Supreme Court law, currently awaiting consideration by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, would meet the EC’s requirements regarding the judiciary. This development is expected to pave the way for post-pandemic recovery funds to be granted to Warsaw.

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