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Polish parliament inches closer to removing all Supreme Court judges

If passed, the Bill will force all Supreme Court judges to go to retirement

21 July 2017, 10:02am
There have been protests against the bill in recent weeks (Photo: BBC/EPA)
There have been protests against the bill in recent weeks (Photo: BBC/EPA)
Poland’s Law and Justice party have secured a bill that sees all Supreme Court judges removed and replaced.

The party argue that it will make the judicial system more effective.

Critics have lambasted the law, arguing that it places control of the judiciary in the hands of politicians.

The changes are 'backward', says European Council President and former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Tusk said that he asked Poland’s President Andrzej Duda for a meeting to discuss the reform, amidst fears that the reform will marginalise the country from cooperation.

The bill, which will now go through a second reading on Friday after being passed by 235 votes to 192, will see all Supreme Court judges forced into retirement.

The decision on whether they have their jobs back will depend on the president, who will be acting on the advice of the justice minister.

After yesterday’s vote, Grzegorz Schetyna, leader of Poland's largest opposition party, Civic Platform, called it the day judicial independence died. 

In a statement to news agency AFP, political analyst Stanislaw Mocek warned that the new system "paves the way for a non-democratic system in Poland".

Thousands of people have also taken to the streets to protest the bill in recent weeks.