Our judicial sovereignty is under threat
Ireland has impugned the integrity of Polish justice—with possibly catastrophic consequences for Poland, said Tomasz Pietryga. Last week, an Irish high court judge refused to extradite a suspected drug trafficker to Poland, saying that recent legislative changes to the Polish judicial system were “so immense” that they have “systematically damaged” the rule of law here. Justice Aileen Donnelly has now referred the case to the European Court of Justice. If that court rules against us, the European Union will be forced to find Warsaw in breach of EU norms and could halt the $17 billion in funding it sends Poland every year. Such a judgment would have “the strength of an atomic bomb,” because all international courts would then feel free to set aside Polish rulings. Both the Polish opposition and the Polish government are to blame for this crisis. The opposition has been lobbying “foreign public opinion” for months to convince the world that the independence of the judiciary was under threat. But of course it would have made no headway if not for the “irresponsible reforms” of the ruling Law and Justice party, which purged our high court of many justices and politicized the appointment of new ones. No matter how the European Court of Justice ends up ruling, Poland’s reputation is tarnished.