GENEVA (23 October 2018) – A UN expert today welcomed a decision by the European Union’s supreme court to reinstate top judges who were forced to retire to make way for mostly political appointees of the ruling majority.

“The forceful retirement of judges before the end of their legal terms constitutes a serious blow to the principle of judicial independence, and is a flagrant breach of the principle of irremovability of judges,” said Diego García-Sayán, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.

On 19 October, the European Court of Justice issued an injunction reinstating 27 of Poland’s Supreme Court judges over the age of 65 who were ordered to retire under a law enacted in July. Previously, the retirement age was 70. “I trust that the Government will fully implement the Court’s decision,” said the mandate holder.

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