Poland's parliament approves legislation for more control on judicial branch
Poland's parliament voted Friday to approve legislation that will make it easier for the ruling party to appoint the president and members of the Supreme Court and influence judges.
It was the latest development in the right-wing ruling party's overhaul of the justice system that has sparked outrage from the opposition and from international organizations of law experts. European Union leaders say the changes threaten member Poland's rule of law and have opened sanctioning procedures.
Dominated by the ruling Law and Justice party, the lower house voted 230-24 with four abstentions to approve the legislation that will also make it easier for the party to influence the work of judges in lower courts.
Piotr Misilo, of the Modern party, said Law and Justice members will be taken to court for their actions and said that in his opinion "Law and Justice should be outlawed." The job and the independence of the Supreme Court's chief justice are at the center of a major political battle.
Law and Justice considers Judge Malgorzata Gersdorf to be retired in light of recent legislation that lowered age limits for judges. Gersdorf, however, has continued to show up for work, insisting that, according to the constitution, her term runs until early 2020.
Earlier today, President Andrzej Duda said he is hoping to win approval for a November referendum on whether the country's constitution should be changed and if so to what extent.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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