WARSAW, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Poland's Supreme Court will seek
help from the European Union's top court to resolve a standoff
over judicial appointments that are blocking proceedings in a
long-running case on foreign currency loan disputes, a spokesman
said on Thursday.
He was speaking after the court failed again to issue a
decision on how lower courts should treat the cases involving
thousands of Poles who took out mortgages in Swiss francs more
than a decade ago to take advantage of low Swiss interest rates,
only to face higher costs when the value of the zloty slumped.
"The sitting of the Supreme Court ended with a decision to
refer preliminary questions to the Court of Justice of the
European Union (CJEU)," court spokesman Aleksander Stepkowski
"Under the decision the burden remains with the common
courts, who did not receive the support of the Supreme Court."
Before the sitting, lawyers had said that a conflict between
old and newly-appointed judges made a decision unlikely.
Many old judges in the Supreme Court believe that new judges
were appointed illegally as a result of reforms by the ruling
Law and Justice (PiS) party, which critics say have politicised
the judicial system.
Some old judges say verdicts reached with the participation
of new judges could be questioned in future. The Supreme Court
decided to send three questions on this issue to the CJEU,
"Of course, the system for appointing judges is very
important, but 700,000 people are waiting for this case, they
could have chosen another case to ask these questions," said
Andrzej Zorski, a lawyer specialising in Swiss franc mortgage
The court, sitting with all the judges of the Civil Chamber,
had been due to issue the guidance in May, but postponed a
decision to ask for opinions from institutions including the
central bank, financial regulator KNF and the children's rights
Warsaw's WIG Bank's index was up 0.4% following the
($1 = 3.8107 zloty)
(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz
Editing by Robert Birsel and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)