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Czech judges denounce Poland's legal overhaul as attack on freedom

Czech judges denounce Poland's legal overhaul as attack on freedom

Pikamäe told ERR that the attacks on Poland's court system began immediately after the now governing Law and Justice Party (PiS) took over, throwing the country's constitutional court into crisis.

Poland's lawmakers on Thursday approved a law that gives the president, not judges, the power to regulate the work of the Supreme Court and to appoint its judges. The bill on the Supreme Court.

The European Commission urged the Polish authorities to refrain from changes in the judicial system.

In her nationwide speech, Beata Szydlo said that the legislation was prompted by public criticism of the legal system's inefficiency and blamed the outcry it has triggered on the opposition's "frustration".

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. The article allows the union to pursue sanctions against a member state if that country is said to be committing fundamental rights violations.

Sources close to the Presidential Palace told Reuters news agency that President Andrzej Duda was on holiday on the Baltic coast.

Later Saturday night, crowds of thousands began to form in Warsaw, Krakow and other Polish cities.

"We are taking Poland in the right direction", Mazurek said. The eurosceptic PiS argues new rules are needed to make the judiciary accountable and efficient.

GOP Struggles To Find Consensus On Budget Cuts
To view the full article, register now. "This was not on the list of amendments, and we're going to move forward", Black said . They have promised to spur economic growth even more by unshackling banks and corporations from excessive government red tape.

PiS has offered no concessions, instead presenting the European Union criticism as unacceptable foreign meddling in the domestic affairs of the country, which overthrew communism in 1989 and joined the European Union in 2004. "We will not be intimidated by Polish and foreign defenders of the interests of the elite".

Poland's upper house of Parliament on Saturday passed a sweeping and controversial judicial bill despite massive nationwide protests and the threat of European Union sanctions. The head of state has 21 days to sign the document, veto it, or, if in doubt, submit it to the constitutional court.

Now, the party is "moving aggressively to take control of the last major independent government institution, the courts", the Times noted, by pushing through two measures that would effectively give the party total control over judge selection. The bill passed 235-192 with 23 abstentions.

But despite the political opposition and public pressure, the PiS was able to push the bill through with its parliamentary majority. The poll was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, amid large street protests against the party's plan for the judiciary.

Duda has so far not accepted an invitation for talks on the issue from European Council President Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister.

He said asked Duda for a meeting even before Thursday's vote and urged him to find "serious means and serious partners" in trying to solve the situation.

A senior aide to Duda, Krzysztof Szczerski, said Tusk should instead focus on explaining Poland's stance in Brussels.


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