Council of Europe criticizes Poland over judicial vote

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

Poland's most powerful politician insisted Friday that "radical changes" are necessary to heal the nation's judiciary and vowed to push ahead despite vehement protests from Poland's opposition and European bodies.

Poland's senate on Saturday adopted two controversial judicial bills, which the opposition claims is yet another step by the conservative majority towards undermining the separation of powers.

Critics have accused PiS of dismantling the rule of law in Poland and of aiming to stack courts with its own candidates.

"We ask that your representatives visit Poland on 18-20 July", the letter from Poland's second largest opposition party said.

Plans are also underway to allow the justice minister to get rid of all of the country's Supreme Court judges and appoint new ones, adding to global concerns about Poland's democratic credentials. It also rules on electoral protests and determines the validity of elections.

More news: Berlin 'dismayed and furious' over murder of German women in Egypt

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland's most powerful politician and leader of the Law and Justice party, contends that the courts are rooted in the communist era and are working to protect those who served the previous system.

After meeting Duda on Monday, Kukiz said his grouping believes "the Polish judiciary requires "thorough reforms and profound personnel changes".

The introduction of the new law has yet to be added to the Sejm agenda for next week but it is expected that a debate and vote will take place because the session on July 18-20 is the last before the summer recess. Critics say procedures were broken during the election of the new president of the tribunal, a PiS nominee.

The first bill stipulates that from now on the parliament - which is controlled by the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party - will choose the members of the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), whose role is to protect the independence of courts.

The European Commission said it would discuss the situation of Poland's judiciary on Wednesday.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article