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Poland: Parliament must reject draft laws attacking judicial independence, urges ICJ: The International Commission of Jurists called today on the Polish Parliament (Sejm) to reject two draft laws that, if approved, would significantly undermine the independence of the judiciary.

The Sejm is reportedly set to approve tomorrow draft bill no. 2002 that, among other measures, will allow Parliament and the Government to appoint a majority of the members of the National Judicial Council, the institution in charge of defending the independence of the judiciary and appointing judges.

This law gives the Polish legislature and executive, which have increasingly demonstrated deep disregard for human rights and the rule of law, undue influence over the judiciary.

Additionally, draft bill no. 2003, which will also come before the Parliament for approval, will lower the age of retirement for Supreme Court judges from 70 to 65 years and allow the President of the Republic to decide which judges are to be reinstated.

“These draft laws tabled by President Duda are a direct blow to the principle of separation of powers, the bedrock of the rule of law,” said Massimo Frigo, Senior Legal Adviser with the ICJ Europe Programme. “The changes made to the draft laws rejected by the President last July have not remedied in any way their adverse implications for judicial independence”.

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Poland: Parliament must reject draft laws attacking judicial independence, urges ICJ: The International Commission of Jurists called today on the Polish Parliament (Sejm) to reject two draft laws that, if approved, would significantly undermine the independence of the judiciary.The Sejm is reportedly set to approve tomorrow draft bill no. 2002 that, among other measures, will allow Parliament and the Government to appoint a majority of the members of the National Judicial Council, the institution in charge of defending the independence of the judiciary and appointing judges.This law gives the Polish legislature and executive, which have increasingly demonstrated deep disregard for human rights and the rule of law, undue influence over the judiciary.Additionally, draft bill no. 2003, which will also come before the Parliament for approval, will lower the age of retirement for Supreme Court judges from 70 to 65 years and allow the President of the Republic to decide which judges are to be reinstated.“These draft laws tabled by President Duda are a direct blow to the principle of separation of powers, the bedrock of the rule of law,” said Massimo Frigo, Senior Legal Adviser with the ICJ Europe Programme. “The changes made to the draft laws rejected by the President last July have not remedied in any way their adverse implications for judicial independence”.