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Key Polish ruling on primacy of EU law delayed

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Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal again postponed on Tuesday a planned ruling on whether the country’s constitution or European Union treaties take precedence, a verdict that could call into question the bloc’s legal order.

Proceedings, originally set for July, were adjourned until Sept. 22 following a motion from Poland’s Human Rights Ombudsman that one of the judges, former ruling party lawmaker Stanislaw Piotrowicz, should not participate as he had been involved in judicial reforms opposed by Brussels.

“A judge of the Constitutional Tribunal whose attitude towards the EU is marked by far-reaching criticism or even hostility cannot adjudicate on the constitutionality of EU treaties,” said the office of ombudsman Marcin Wiacek, who was nominated by the opposition and appointed by parliament in July.

The catalyst for Tuesday’s sitting had been a long-running dispute with the EU over changes to the court system in Poland. Brussels is angered by what it sees as attempts to undermine the independence of the judiciary. Warsaw accuses Brussels of unjustified meddling in its internal affairs.

via Reuters