M assive crowds of demonstrators organized today in Warsaw outside parliament as well as in other major Polish cities – Krakow included. They were protesting the latest controversial action by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), who, without prior consultation, passed a bill on Sunday to reorganize the Polish Supreme Court.
Specifically, it would allow MPs and the the Minister of Justice to appoint judges, bypassing the consultation of judicial circles. The bill would also give the judiciary council, a body which will have almost all of its members chosen by parliament, the power to choose future appointees.
Furthermore, the day after the bill enters into force, the sitting Supreme Court judges would be obliged to resign – giving the government the opportunity to replace them entirely with members of its choosing.
Critics, including European Union leaders and the political party Razem, say that this will spell the end of judicial independence …