Government reform protests gather pace in Poland

Government reform protests gather pace in Poland

Gersdorf still showed up for work Wednesday, insisting that her six-year term runs through 2020, according to the constitution.

Kees Sterk, chief of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ), which advises the EU's executive on upholding rule of law in the bloc, spoke after meeting Judge Malgorzata Gersdorf in her Warsaw office.

The Supreme Court shake-up represents the culmination of a comprehensive overhaul of Poland's justice system that gives the right-wing ruling party new powers over the courts. The law is forcing the chief justice and as many as one-third of the court's sitting judges to step down.

Gersdorf said the reform was a "purge of the Supreme Court conducted under the guise of retirement reform".

But even as the Tuesday deadline for the 27 judges to hand in their resignations came and past, none came and on Wednesday hundreds of supportive protesters swarmed chief justice Malgorzata Gersdorf as she returned to work. The Polish government also plans to introduce a "disciplinary chamber", which will allow the government to re-open any case in the past 20 years and have it reviewed by new, government-friendly judges.

"Poland is a European country and it is imperative that its judges are completely independent - this is fundamental to guaranteeing citizens' rights", Draginja Nadazdin, director of Amnesty International's Poland bureau told AFP.

"Judges are more independent now than they were in the past", Morawiecki countered, arguing the judicial changes will better serve ordinary people.

As previously reported, the EU has threatened Poland to deprive her of the right to vote in the European Parliament in the preservation of the new law.

China PM warns 'China will take measures in response' to tariffs
And Beijing's tactics may go beyond tariffs to include arbitrary quarantines and a costly uptick in customs inspections. The US trade deficit in goods with China ballooned to a record $375.2 billion past year , further stoking Trump's ire.

Apple may introduce blue, red and orange iPhones this fall
This is all speculation at the moment, but it comes from Kuo who has often been correct about iPhone rumors in the past. The 6.1-inch LCD phone, however, could come in an array of colors, including gray, white, blue, orange, and red.

Mbappé will get even better - Deschamps
Brazil's defensive record under coach Tite has been remarkable, with only six goals conceded in 25 matches , and they have been just as miserly in Russian Federation .

After staging protests on Tuesday outside the Supreme Court, Polish pro-democracy activists have vowed to hold more rallies around the country on Wednesday.

The new law lowers the mandatory retirement age from 70 to 65 for the Supreme Court justices.

Critics at home and overseas say the ruling party's policies, which also include tighter control of public media, amount to a shift toward authoritarian rule. "We firmly believe that the European Union has future ahead, we only want our individual, national values to be respected".

The Polish government has insisted that its changes seek to reform a corrupt and inefficient system, with judges that date back to the Communist era.

Poland has a month to respond to the commission's formal announcement, the first stage of a procedure that the ECJ may be asked to rule on.

Guy Verhofstadt, president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, said that putting judges under political control was reminiscent of Soviet practices and said Poland should abandon its "illiberal" illusions.

Thousands of Poles took to the streets of Warsaw and other Polish cities on Tuesday (3 July) to protest against the government's makeover of the judiciary that takes effect at midnight despite strong objections by the European Union.

Related Articles