Motion S5M-06824: Independence of Judiciary in Poland

27 Jul 2017

That the Parliament is greatly concerned by the news that Poland’s lower house of parliament has voted through reforms to its legal system, which it understands many fear will lead to a major erosion in the independence of the judiciary; believes that the current system sees the National Judicial Council, which is responsible for enforcing legal and ethical guidelines in the country, appoint judges; understands that the changes proposed by the Law and Justice Party would instead see the power to appoint judges transferred to the Parliament, with another bill being progressed that would see the Justice Minister given the power to replace the heads of the country’s courts; believes that this news has sparked concern from a wide variety of human rights groups as well as the European Commission, which it understands has raised the possibility of disciplinary action being taken against the country, which could result in the loss of its EU voting rights; believes that the independence of the judiciary is one of the key building blocks for a healthy functioning democracy, and calls on the Law and Justice Party to step back from implementing the legislation, which it believes damages this independence.