Tags: EU | Poland | Politics

Poland Rushes Vote to Unblock Top Court before Obama Arrives

Thursday, 07 July 2016 09:24 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's Parliament has approved legislation to allow a top court to function, mitigating previous rules which have drawn international outcry.

The government was pressing to amend the rules governing the Constitutional Tribunal before President Barack Obama arrives in Warsaw for a NATO summit starting Friday. Obama will meet Poland's President Andrzej Duda and is expected to ask about progress on ending the stalemate. Observers said the rush vote was to allow Duda to have good news for Obama.

The European Union had warned of sanctions over changes in the composition and regulations governing the Constitutional Tribunal, which inhibit its ability to scrutinize — and potentially block — legislation backed by the government.

A European human rights body, the Venice Commission of constitutional law experts, in March criticized Poland for effectively paralyzing the Tribunal, and said such actions could undermine the country's democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

It urged Poland to find a quick solution to the stalemate.

In December, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said U.S. concerns about the Constitutional Tribunal had been raised with Polish officials.

"Any democracy needs strong systems of checks and balances, needs judicial independence. These are critical, crucial elements of a constitutional democracy and establishing rule of law," Toner said.

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Poland's Parliament has approved legislation to allow a top court to function, mitigating previous rules which have drawn international outcry.The government was pressing to amend the rules governing the Constitutional Tribunal before President Barack Obama arrives in...
EU,Poland,Politics
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2016-24-07
Thursday, 07 July 2016 09:24 AM
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