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Principale » Poland's Kaczynski insists on 'radical' reform of courts

Poland's Kaczynski insists on 'radical' reform of courts

28 Juillet 2017

President Andrejez Duda made a decision to veto two controversial bills targeting the country's judicial independence.

"It is time to restore the independence of the Constitutional Tribunal and to either withdraw the laws reforming the judiciary or bring them into line with the Polish constitution and with European standards on judicial independence", Timmermans said on Wednesday.

Duda later vetoed one reform which would have seen the Supreme Court judges replaced by government nominees.

The legal reforms have triggered mass street protests in Poland and raised fears for the rule of law in one of the EU's leading eastern former communist states.

However, he signed into law reforms that change the way the heads of district and appeals courts are appointed and dismissed, giving more power to the justice minister.

The European Union (EU) has warned Poland of suspending its voting rights after the country recently approved two controversial judicial reforms that would give the government broad powers in the nomination of judges.

The Polish government's poor relations with EU institutions include the European Council, whose president, former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk, is a nemesis of Law and Justice party chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

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"The reform of the judiciary must be radical because partial reform won't change anything", Kaczynski said in an interview with the ultra-Catholic television station Trwam, whose audience comprises diehard supporters of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party.

It has routinely criticized Western liberal democracy, often making points similar to those of Hungary's controversial Prime Minister Viktor Orban, another European Union leader from the former communist Eastern Europe who has become notorious for his vision for an "illiberal democracy".

The Dutchman said the laws "would have a very significant negative impact on the independence of the Polish judiciary and would increase the systemic threat to the rule of law".

"The European Commission is trying to play God", he said.

Bochenek said, however, that Poland would be receptive to talks with Brussels.

"If the Polish government goes ahead with undermining the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Poland, we will have no other choice than to trigger Article 7", he added.

The EU executive also chose to launch an infringement proceeding against Poland for breaches of EU law, as soon as a third controversial judiciary law is published - the Law on the Ordinary Courts Organization.

Poland's Kaczynski insists on 'radical' reform of courts