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English Section

Polish MPs back contested new rules to discipline judges

24.01.2020 14:58
Poland’s parliament has voted through disputed new rules to discipline judges, dismissing claims by critics that the legislation could undermine judicial independence and allow the government to gag dissenters.
  • Polish MPs back contested new rules to discipline judges
The Warsaw headquarters of Polands Supreme Court.
The Warsaw headquarters of Poland's Supreme Court.Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

The move came as the Supreme Court met to debate the legitimacy of judges appointed by the country’s ruling conservatives to the new-look National Council of the Judiciary.

The lower house of Poland's parliament, the Sejm, in session in Warsaw on Thursday evening. The lower house of Poland's parliament, the Sejm, voted 234-211, with nine abstentions, to adopt the disputed measure on Thursday evening. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara
Polish Supreme Court judges convene on ThursdayA gathering of Supreme Court justices ruled on Thursday that judges recently appointed by Poland's governing conservatives were illegitimate and should not be allowed to hear cases. Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters on Friday that if judges were allowed to question the appointment or verdicts of other judges, the Polish justice system could descend into chaos.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki holds a news conference in Warsaw on Friday. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki holds a news conference in Warsaw on Friday. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Radio Poland's Elżbieta Krajewska looks at the latest chapter in a protracted wrangle over legal changes that the government says are needed to reform Poland’s ailing justice system.