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Polish Supreme Court Head Defies Ruling Party As Crisis Deepens

Polish Supreme Court Head Defies Ruling Party As Crisis Deepens

The head of Poland's Supreme Court has vowed to defy a controversial new law forcing her and dozens of senior judges to retire early, a BBC News report said on Wednesday.

"Under the constitution, Mrs. Gersdorf has retired because she exceeded the age limit of 65", he told state broadcaster Polish Radio, adding that Gersdorf has not filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court against the new retirement law.

The forced retirements of up to 27 of 72 Supreme Court justices, including the top judge, and the creation of a judicial disciplinary chamber were the latest in a series of steps by Poland's Right-wing Law and Justice Party to take over the justice system.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended his government's policies under tough questioning from lawmakers at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. "It's enough to destroy Poland", Walesa said on his Facebook account.

According to a nationwide survey carried out last month by Ariadna pollsters, 44 percent of Poles believe the PiS judicial reforms will increase political influence on the courts, while just 14 percent of respondents thought the contrary.

Gersdorf said she planned to go to the office as usual on Wednesday.

"We contest the law, but we can not directly invoke the constitution, so we have complied with it", Michal Laskowski, a Supreme Court justice, told the liberal Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

"Judges are more independent now than they were in the past", Morawiecki countered.

We can not simply say: "this is a purely national issue", Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European 'Commission and Commissioner for the Eurozone and Social Dialogue said.

Kimi Raikkonen - My mistake cost pole position at Silverstone
I tried to manage, I could see my tyres opening up. " I would not know where the difference is ", Vettel said. The team are reportedly eyeing Sauber youngster Charles Leclerc as a successor for 2019.

Hundreds gathered to wave European Union flags and placards reading "constitution" to show their support for the supreme court judge.

She said she is due to meet President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday before the legislation comes into effect at midnight.

"The European Union does not need Nord Stream 2, which increases the risk of Central Europe being destabilized and which gives Russian Federation very strong tools of influence, not only over the European economy, but also on European policy", Morawiecki said.

Thousands of people gathered Tuesday night in front of the Supreme Court building, where they shouted "Free courts!" and "Down with dictatorship!" In Gdansk, the cradle of the anti-communist Solidarity movement of the 1980s, legendary democracy leader Lech Walesa denounced Poland's current government, saying it is even more "perfidious" than the communists he helped topple.

Brussels in December triggered so-called Article Seven proceedings against Poland over "systemic threats" to the rule of law, which could eventually see Warsaw's European Union voting rights suspended.

On Tuesday evening the three biggest opposition parties had organized protests "In Defense of the Supreme Court" in Warsaw and other major cities.

In announcing its procedure, the European Commission, which polices EU law, said the measures "undermine the principle of judiciary independence".

The European Commission launched legal action against Poland over the reform on Monday, which could eventually see some of Poland's privileges as an EU member suspended.


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