Poland: Poland MPs back controversial judiciary bill

July 15, 2017

Judges of the Polish Constitutional Court. File photo

Opposition parties and human rights groups say this would erode the independence of the judiciary.

The governing Law and Justice party says the reforms are needed because the judiciary is corrupt and serves only the elite.

The bill must now be signed by the president in order to become law.

A demonstration against the changes is scheduled to take place in the capital Warsaw on Sunday.

Since it came to power in 2015, the government of the conservative, populist Law and Justice party (PiS), has passed a series of controversial reforms, triggering mass protests.

Polish senators backed the legislation in a vote in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Earlier this week, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro had argued that the changes were necessary because the current system of appointing judges was undemocratic.

“We want to end corporatism and introduce the oxygen of democracy there. Because Poland is a democracy based on the rule of law.

“This is not court-ocracy,” the minister said.

But opposition parties are concerned that the law would give parliament – dominated by PiS lawmakers – a greater say in appointing judges, violating the constitutional separation of powers.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40617406

http://www.dw.com/en/polands-government-seeks-total-control-of-the-court-system/a-39702171

http://www.politico.eu/article/pis-polands-point-of-no-return/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40622896

https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/pologne-une-nouvelle-loi-compromet-lindpendance-du (FRANCAIS)

https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_le-senat-polonais-approuve-deux-reformes-controversees-du-systeme-judiciaire?id=9661183 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2017/07/13/la-hongrie-et-la-pologne-a-nouveau-mises-en-cause-sur-les-libertes-a-bruxelles_5160284_3214.html (FRANCAIS)

http://fr.euronews.com/2017/07/16/pologne-dans-la-rue-au-nom-de-la-democratie (FRANCAIS)

http://www.polskieradio.pl/5/3/Artykul/1789402,Protest-przed-Sejmem-Opozycja-przeciwko-zmianom-w-sadownictwie  (POLISH)

http://www.superstacja.tv/wiadomosc/2017-07-16/opozycja-protestowala-przed-sejmem-przeciw-planom-zmian-w-sadownictwie/  (POLISH)

http://tvnwarszawa.tvn24.pl/informacje,news,przeciw-zmianom-w-sadownictwie-sprzed-sejmu-na-krakowskie,236523.html (POLISH)

Letter Poland – judicial reform July 2017

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Unia Europejska zagroziła zastosowaniem art. 7 TUE jeśli procedowane reformy sądownictwa wejdą w życie. Naszym zdaniem to ważny krok: https://amnesty.org.pl/polska-grozba-zastosowania-art-7-tue-to-krok-w-dobra-strone/. Wezwij polskie władze do przestrzegania Konstytucji i prawa międzynarodowego. Podpisz petycję! https://amnesty.org.pl/akcje/prawo-do-bezstronnego-sadu-zagrozone/

(Amnesty International Polska Facebook)

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