Responding to an announcement by the European Commission (EC) that it is launching infringement proceedings against Poland, and stands ready to trigger legal action if laws are passed giving the government tighter controls over the judiciary, Gauri Van Gulik, Deputy Europe Director at Amnesty International, said:
“The message from the EU is clear: respect the rule of law, or face serious sanctions. These reforms would seriously compromise the independence of the courts and severely undermine the right to fair trial in Poland, and are out of step with European standards and the Polish Constitution.
“The government’s assault on the justice system calls for an extraordinary response from the EU, and the EC must be prepared to follow through on its words and trigger Article 7 if these alarming reforms are written into law.
“The EC’s infringement proceedings make clear the gravity of Poland’s dangerous direction of travel. The government must comply with the Commission’s recommendations as soon as possible, and must ensure that any reforms of the judiciary are in line with international human rights law.”