Several hundred Polish protesters descend on Supreme Court in Warsaw

Several hundred Polish protesters descend on Supreme Court in Warsaw 

People hold placards ‘Constitution’ during their protest in front of the Supreme Court building in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 11, 2018. EPA-EFE/JAKUB KAMINSKI

Warsaw, Oct 11 (efe-epa).- Several hundred protesters on Thursday gathered at Poland’s Supreme Court building to voice their anger over the right-wing Polish government’s decision to appoint 27 new judges in defiance of a pending ruling from the European Court of Justice to decide whether recent judicial reforms contravened European Union laws.

The demonstrators, who were called on by an assortment of civic platforms who opposed the alleged politicization of the Polish judiciary, claimed the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party’s sweeping reforms went against the Constitution.

Poland’s President Andrej Duda on Wednesday appointed 27 new judges to the Supreme Court in spite of Brussel’s opposition, as the EU has criticized Warsaw’s judicial reform plans for contravening the separation of powers and politicizing the courts by limiting their independence.

Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin had said in August that Poland will probably have no other option than to ignore the ECJ’s ruling if it decides to suspend the law reforming the Supreme Court.

Warsaw and Brussels have been at loggerheads on several issues since the nationalist-populist PiS came to power in 2015.

The bill, which was passed in the face of heavy dissent from the liberal opposition, reduces the retirement age for Supreme Court judges from 70 to 65, which would force many of the sitting magistrates to step down, including the court’s chief justice, Malgorzata Gersdorf.