Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Thousands protest against judiciary reforms in Poland

Thousands protest against judiciary reforms in Poland

The council's tasks include drawing up and enforcing ethical guidelines for judges, reviewing judicial candidates and seeking opinions on new rules and regulations to ensure they are constitutional. He insisted the changes were in the public interest and fulfilled the party's election campaign promises.

"The politicians will now have the sole power to choose judges".

The Polish government has said changes are needed to reform an inefficient and sometimes corrupt judicial system.

The ruling party has previously drawn worldwide condemnation for stacking it loyalists on the Constitutional Tribunal, which screens legislation for accordance with the national constitution.

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But as the governing party and its have a comfortable majority, the law was soon passed by parliament in the middle of the night.

The latest effort by the ruling Law and Justice, or PiS, political party would force all Supreme Court justices to step down. PiS also argues the judiciary was not purged after the fall of communism, suggesting the ideology affects the branch.

'Poland will cease not only to be a liberal democracy but a democracy at all, ' says opposition party.

Threatening to take Poland to court, the European Union executive has said these measures undermine democratic checks and balances, a charge PiS denies.

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Kaczynski has said he believes in "getting things done" and has called for several years for an end to the Third Republic, which was set up after the fall of communism. The judiciary, it contends, is symptomatic of this malaise.

The new rules on the National Council had already been criticized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other worldwide and national legal institutions.

The head of the Supreme Court, Malgorzata Gersdorf, who was member of the anti-communist Solidarity movement in the 1980s, has protested the proposed changes as going in the wrong direction and has defended the "highest level of professionalism" of the judges.

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