Poland won't back down in row with European Union over supreme court

On Saturday, presidential spokesman Krzysztof Lapinski said Duda sees some flaws in the legislation on the Supreme Court.

The vote was 55-23 with two abstentions.

Polish democracy icon and former president Lech Walesa on Saturday joined the protests that have broken out across Poland over plans by the populist ruling party to put the Supreme Court and the rest of the judicial system under the party's political control.

Critics at home and overseas say the legislation is part of a drift towards authoritarianism by the government, which espouses nationalist rhetoric coupled with left-leaning economic policy. He said the Law and Justice party had no right to destroy that achievement.

If the EU Commission fights and wins this struggle over the Supreme Court Bill now before the Polish parliament, it will confirm the bureaucracy's view that it should and can exercise sovereignty over democratically elected governments, whether the latter are progressive or reactionary.

The United States, Poland's most important ally in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, issued a statement urging Poland to ensure any changes respect the constitution.


In response to the move. the European Commission said it would implement an unprecedented Article 7 procedure, which means asking EU governments to formally state that they regard the rule of law as being under threat in Poland.

Although the State Department released a statement on Friday that criticized the pending laws, a Polish journalist wrote for the Daily Beast that Trump's visit two weeks ago served as "a ringing endorsement" of Poland's government that encouraged "the government's most authoritarian tendencies".

The bill, sponsored by Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party, was passed by Parliament's lower house.

Since then, the party has made changes to the Constitutional Tribunal ― a body that can rule laws unconstitutional ― and curbed the independence of public broadcasters and civil society groups. The bill on the Supreme Court. TVP Info, a public broadcaster that has become a mouthpiece of the state, hailed "the end of post-communism in Poland".

Szydlo insisted the government will not bow to pressure "from Polish or from foreign defenders of the interest of the elites".

He also said he hoped President Andrzej Duda would quickly sign the newly approved reform into law.


Tusk, former Polish prime minister, wrote in a statement Thursday that "Subjecting the court to one ruling party in the way that Law and Justice has proposed it will ruin already strained opinion on Poland's democracy".

But the Czech judges said the bill was an attack on the Polish judiciary's independence.

"We urge all sides to ensure that any judicial reform does not violate Poland's constitution or worldwide legal obligations and respects the principles of judicial independence and separation of powers", it said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the European Union gave Poland a week to shelve the judicial reforms that Brussels says would put courts under direct government control.

That would involve all European Union member states unanimously agreeing to warn the Polish government about its conduct.



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