The Polish Disciplinary Chamber for judges has caused a lot of controversy in the EU. Now it is to be abolished. This could also have consequences for the blocked EU corona aid worth billions.

Poland’s Sejm has approved a law abolishing the controversial disciplinary body for judges. This is an important step towards the release of billions in corona aid by the EU Commission.

According to the PAP agency, 231 MEPs voted in favor of the draft in the second reading on Thursday, while 208 were against it. There were 13 abstentions. After being passed in the Sejm, the law will now go to the second chamber of parliament, the Senate.

President Andrzej Duda presented the draft in February. The amendment provides for the abolition of the Disciplinary Chamber at the Supreme Court. The supreme judges currently working there can move to another chamber or retire.

New “Chamber for Professional Responsibility” planned

A new “Chamber for Professional Responsibility” is to be set up in place of the controversial Disciplinary Chamber. 33 people are to be drawn at random from among all the judges of the Supreme Court, with the exception of the court president. The President will select eleven judges from each of them for a five-year term.

The draft also provides for the introduction of a review of judges’ impartiality and independence. The EU has blocked corona aid for Poland and only wants to release it if important parts of the judicial reform of the national-conservative PiS government are reversed. This also includes the abolition of the Disciplinary Chamber.