Poland adopts new law on Constitutional Tribunal

Image: Ministry of Justice

The lower chamber of parliament, the Sejm, has adopted a new law on the Constitutional Tribunal in an attempt to break the stalemate in which the top court has been for months. The legislative procedure started on Tuesday and the rush vote is seen by observers as a move to appease Barack Obama ahead of the NATO summit on Friday.

The new law, drafted by ruling PiS, stipulates that the top court will adjudicate cases in the order they were filed, however, the President will have the right to change it. Apart from that, four judges will be able to veto the verdict, thus postponing the court’s sitting for three months. Should four other judges veto the following verdict, the court session will be postponed for another three months.

The new law also obliges the head of the court to include three judges chosen by PiS and sworn in by President Andrzej Duda to the court’s composition. It also states that all Constitutional Tribunal verdicts ruled after March 10 will be published.

The new law was adopted after the amendments to the previous legislation caused international outcry and effectively paralyzed the tribunal. Nonetheless, the opposition says that it won’t improve the functioning of the court.

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