EU legal expert criticizes Polish justice independence

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A top European Union justice official says a newly created disciplinary body at Poland’s supreme court is not up to EU legal standards.

Advocate General Evgeni Tanchev said Thursday that the Polish court’s so-called Disciplinary Chamber “does not satisfy the requirements of judicial independence under EU laws.”

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The chamber is involved in hearing an appeal by several Polish judges against a decision to lower the retirement ages of the country’s judges.

But Tanchev says the body that appoints the judges to that chamber does not appear to be free from political influence.

EU legal advisers’ opinions are not binding, but the Europe’s top court follows their advice in most cases. Tanchev’s comments comes amid longstanding EU concerns about the rule of law in Poland.