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Poland: New Political Controls Threaten Integrity of Judicial System
In response to the lower house of Poland’s parliament approving legislation placing the judiciary under the political control of the government, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“This legislation proposed by the Law and Justice Party will be a death warrant for the independence of Poland's judicial system,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “Allowing members of parliament to reopen cases and establishing a new judicial body that will also oversee elections is an invitation to abuse of the system. This legislation would wreck the judiciary for years to come. The European Union as well as the United States should urgently engage with the government of Poland and President Duda to urge the laws be withdrawn.”
Poland is rated Free in Freedom in the World 2017, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, and receives a democracy score of 2.57, on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2017. For more on Poland, see the recent special report Pluralism Under Attack: The Assault on Press Freedom in Poland.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.