Poland May Lose EU Voting Rights After Ending Judicial Independence

The new law which was proposed by Poland's ruling populist Law and Justice party gives the nation's president the power to influence the court's work and to appoint its judges

Members of Poland's parliament scuffle during the parliamentary Commission on Justice and Human Rights
Agencja Gazeta/Adam Stepien/via REUTERS

Polish lawmakers have voted to approve a contentious law that gives control of the top court to politicians instead of judges.

Thursday's bill on the Supreme Court has drawn condemnation from the European Union and has led to street protests. Critics say it kills judicial independence and violates the rule of law.

Proposed by the ruling populist Law and Justice party it gives the nation's president the power to influence the court's work and to appoint its judges. It calls for the dismissal of the court's current judges, except those chosen by the president.

The European Commission has warned it could strip Poland of its European Union voting rights over the changes the governcment is making to the judiciary.

Public protests are planned for Thursday evening.