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Poland's government wants to retire many judges at the Supreme Court and its chairman early. They think it's unconstitutional and they fight back.

Judicial reform in Poland: Supreme judge in Poland defying the government

Poland's government wants to retire many judges at the Supreme Court and its chairman early. They think it's unconstitutional and they fight back.

Judicial reform in Poland: Supreme judge in Poland defying the government

The Supreme Court in Poland is again open to government in Warsaw: judges and ir chairman Malgorzata Gersdorf want to remain in office despite much-criticized judicial reforms. This was decided by General Assembly in accordance with Constitution, and was shared by a spokesman. A controversial law of national Conservative government would put numerous judges and president in early retirement next Wednesday.

The spokesman emphasized that no law was above Constitution; It foresees a six-year term of office for President of court. In a second resolution, judges criticized law as not complying with Constitution.

"No matter what resolutions judges have decided"

The Government, on or hand, maintains its line. The Deputy Minister of Justice, Lukasz Piebiak, said that President's term of office would very well end on 3 July, "No matter what resolutions judges have decided". The General Assembly of Supreme Court is not competent institution to decide on constitutional conformity of a law.

The law that has already been adopted and signed by President Andrzej Duda is part of judicial reforms that European Commission has been doing against Polish government since 2016. The Brussels authorities criticized that reforms would curtail independence of judiciary and undermine separation of powers. In forced early retirement of a majority of judges, EU Commission sees a new stage.

Still on Tuesday, Poland had defended its reforms at an EU meeting in Luxembourg. In Warsaw and ten or Polish cities, thousands of Poles had begun protests against government in meantime. In capital city of Warsaw, more than a thousand people gared Europe flags and posters with inscriptions such as "No to politicization of courts" and "defended our judges". The demonstrators called on EU not to give up in dispute with Warsaw. The protests are supposed to go on until next week.

In December, EU had initiated unprecedented criminal proceedings against Poland, which – at least in ory – could lead to withdrawal of voting rights at EU level. However, vote on this must be unanimous. Hungary, which is also governed by law, has already announced that it will not carry sanctions against Warsaw.

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