Poland: Countrywide protests expected ahead of vote to restrict judges

  • 130 protests expected across Poland
  • Spokesperson available at Warsaw protest

A nationwide protest is planned in Poland this evening against a proposed law expected to be tabled tomorrow which will impose severe restrictions on judges’ rights to freedom of expression and association and further undermine the independence and integrity of Poland’s judiciary. Ahead of the protests, Eve Geddie, Director of the Amnesty International European Institutions Office, said:

“With this law, the Polish authorities are attempting to remove what little remains of judicial independence in Poland by bringing the remaining free elements of the Polish courts under the political control of the Minister of Justice.

“The new law will mean judges can be fired if they question the government’s judicial reforms. It will also force judges to inform the authorities about their membership of a judges’ association, in violation of their right to freedom of association.”

“It is outrageous to ban judges from questioning the legitimacy of judicial bodies which are so clearly government-controlled. Particularly when the EU court called their legality into question just last month and encouraged Polish judges to further investigate and even disregard them if their independence cannot be confirmed. An independent judiciary is essential for the protection of human rights. This proposed law must be rejected.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Amnesty International press office on [email protected] +32 2 548 27 73 or +32483 680 812

Director of Amnesty Poland Draginja Nadaždin will be at the protest in Warsaw and can be contacted on: + 48 605 222 705

If adopted, the law would prevent the courts in Poland from implementing the decision of the CJEU from 19 November 2019. The first reading is expected to be heard in the lower house of the Polish parliament (“Sejm”) on 19 December 2019.