Polish president signs bill giving justice minister power over local courts – POLITICO

Polish President Andrzej Duda makes a statement to announce that he will veto controversial judicial reforms in Warsaw on July 24, 2017 | Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images

Andrzej Duda signs one bill, promises to veto two others that would reform Poland’s judiciary.


Andrzej Duda, Poland’s president, signed a bill on Tuesday that would allow the country’s justice minister to hire and fire the heads of local courts, local media reported.

Duda signed the bill one day after he defied Poland’s de facto leader, conservative Law and Justice party head Jarosław Kaczyński, by pledging to veto two other controversial bills. All three pieces of legislation were part of a controversial judicial reform package that would have given the government greater control over the judiciary, including the Supreme Court. The planned legal changes met with large-scale demonstrations across Poland and raised concerns in Brussels that the government is moving to further undermine checks and balances.

The bill Duda did sign reorganizes Poland’s local judiciary. Apart from giving the justice minister the ability to select heads of local courts, the bill will also — in some cases — allow the heads of court to assign cases to judges of their choice.

“Poland absolutely needs judiciary reform and I support it. But Poland needs a wise reform which will ensure the good functioning of the justice system,” Duda said on Monday, adding that he plans to propose his own draft legislation for judicial reforms within two months.

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Deep reform of disfunctional, corrupt and inneffective judicial system is supported by over 70% of Polish citizens.

Degree of disfunctionality is also attested by European Court for Human Rights where Polish citizens – victims of Polish judicial system win a lot of cases concerning unlawful arrests, unending proceedings even in simple cases or simply unlawful sentences, etc.
This disfunctionality is mainly due to the fact that judicial system is one of the last areas that has not been reformed at all after fall of totalitarian communism so still a lot of important judges, procedures and treatment of citizens rights has its roots in bad totalitarian past.

Hopefully current government finally ends this !

Posted on 7/25/17 | 11:58 AM CEST

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