Tag Archives: Poland

Poland: Protests in Warsaw as government moves on courts

July 22, 2017

Bogdan Klich looked on as hundreds of protesters confronted a long line of impassive police officers ringing the Polish parliament. It was early Friday morning, not long after midnight, and Klich seemed a man in his element.

It wasn’t the first time the 57-year-old minority leader of the Polish senate had taken on his government. Klich led student strikes in 1980 and joined the underground opposing communist martial law later that decade. What he hadn’t expected was having to return to the streets again, 27 years after Poland’s break with communism.

“I always felt Polish democracy was based on strong foundations, and that no one would try to overturn that,” he said, as a small group of demonstrators called him over, worried the police might try to remove them. “I was wrong,” he said.

Hours earlier, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Warsaw and other Polish cities to protest the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party’s effort to impose tighter political controls over the judicial system. The lower house of parliament, where PiS has a majority, adopted a law Thursday that would force all Supreme Court judges into retirement except those selected by the justice minister.

http://www.politico.eu/article/protests-in-warsaw-as-government-moves-on-courts/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/22/polish-senate-approves-bill-to-give-government-influence-over-courts

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/21/europe/poland-judicial-bill-pass-upper-house/index.html

https://www.ft.com/content/8ddc360a-6e0d-11e7-b9c7-15af748b60d0

https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21725333-question-whether-eu-will-do-anything-about-it-polands-government-putting-courts

http://www.npr.org/2017/07/22/538773014/critics-say-new-poland-law-dissolves-separation-of-judiciary-and-ruling-party

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/07/272791.htm

http://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/HUMAN_RIGHTS/HR_Letters/EN_HR_20170718_Letter-to-His-Excellency-A-Duda-regarding-adopted-amendments-to-the-Polish-Act-on-the-National-Council-of-the-Judiciary-and-the-Act-Law-on-Common-Courts-Organisation.pdf

http://information.tv5monde.com/info/reforme-de-la-justice-en-pologne-tusk-juge-deplorable-la-cooperation-avec-bruxelles-182304 (FRANCAIS)

http://fr.euronews.com/2017/07/21/pologne-vote-reforme-cour-supreme-manifestations-union-europeenne (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rtl.be/info/monde/europe/reforme-de-la-justice-en-pologne-lech-walesa-rejoint-les-protestations-contre-la-loi-sur-la-cour-supreme-en-pologne-938254.aspx (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/europe/20170722-pologne-casse-tete-commission-europeenne-tusk-duda-cour-supreme (FRANCAIS)

Poland: EU threatens Poland with sanctions as judiciary stand-off escalates

July 19, 2017

The European Union on Wednesday warned Poland’s right-wing government to put on hold controversial reforms to the country’s courts or risk unprecedented sanctions.

In a worsening 18-month standoff between Warsaw and Brussels, the European Commission said Poland’s draft reforms could have a “very significant negative impact on the independence” of the courts.

“We are very close to triggering article seven,” Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans told a press conference in Brussels, following a high-level meeting on the issue.

If article seven of the EU treaty is activated — and the matter could be discussed as early as next week — Poland could see its voting rights suspended in the council of ministers, the EU’s highest decision-making body.

But it was not immediately clear whether the commission could muster the support required from the other 27 member countries, particularly from Poland’s ally Hungary.

Timmermans said the stakes were high as “these laws considerably increase the systemic threats to the rule of law in Poland.”

http://www.france24.com/en/20170719-european-union-threatens-poland-with-sanctions-over-judicial-shake-court?ref=fb_i&utm_utm_medium=facebook

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/20/poland-draft-law-threatens-supreme-court

http://www.uianet.org/en/content/independence-judiciary-threatened-poland#.WXCmf1CDuag.facebook

http://www.dw.com/en/polish-lawmakers-pass-controversial-supreme-court-bill/a-39773625

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/press-releases/independent-judiciary-underpins-rule-of-law-in-poland/

http://www.dw.com/en/thousands-protest-in-poland-after-controversial-supreme-court-bill-passed/a-39773625

http://www.france24.com/fr/20170719-union-europeenne-pologne-ordre-reformes-judiciaires-justice-pis-timmermans (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2017/07/20/la-pologne-denonce-un-acte-politique-de-la-commission-europeenne_5162783_3214.html (FRANCAIS)

http://www.france24.com/fr/20170720-pologne-parlement-adoption-reforme-controversee-cour-supreme-donald-tusk-andrzej-duda?ref=fb_i (FRANCAIS)

http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/monde/20170720.OBS2378/la-pologne-se-transforme-en-pays-autoritaire-et-anti-democratique.html (FRANCAIS)

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Planowane zmiany w ustawie o Krajowej Radzie Sądownictwa, ustroju sądów powszechnych oraz Sądzie Najwyższym godzą w konstytucyjną zasadę podziału władzy. Wspieraj nasze działania w obronie praw człowieka w Polsce i kup symboliczną cegiełkę na http://sklep.amnesty.org.pl/

(Amnesty International Polska Facebook)

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)