EU warns Poland’s ultra-conservative government over new law

EU warns Poland’s ultra-conservative government over new law
07:47 25 Dekabr 2015
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Poland’s new government has been slammed by the EU over controversial new legislation that reportedly undermines the rule of law in the country, Sputnik reported.

The European Commission, in a letter published on Wednesday, urged Polish ministers not to implement the new law "until all questions regarding the impact of this law on the independence and functioning of the Constitutional Tribunal have been fully and properly assessed."

Poland passed the law Tuesday, changing the functioning of the country's constitutional court. The new legislation provoked a wave of criticism at home and abroad.

EU concern was raised as the Commission "attaches great importance to preventing the emergence of situations whereby the rule of law in (a) member state could be called into question," Frans Timmermans, the EU Commission Vice-President, said.

The constitutional crisis gathered thousands of protesters and supporters of the ruling party who blame the conservative government for threatening democracy in Poland.
On Wednesday, former president Lech Walesa lashed out at the policies of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), which passed the law. He urged for a referendum for early elections.

"This government is acting against Poland's interests, against freedom, against democracy, and is ridiculing us around the world," Walesa said on Radio Zet.
A constitutional crisis was allegedly forced by the PiS as ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski won majorities in both houses of parliament in October.

The new law requires the limit for the court's rulings from a simple majority to a 2/3 majority and for most controversial cases it requires the presence of thirteen judges, compared to nine.

​According to the new legislation, waiting periods will be prolonged to three to six months between the time a request for a ruling is made and its verdict, compared to current 14 days.

The country's top court, together with ruling party opponents, claim that the new legislation, believed likely to easily pass the Senate and the President, will erase checks and balances on the new conservative government and weaken the Supreme Court.

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