19:15 GMT20 February 2020
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    Polish President Andrzej Duda said Monday he planned to veto two laws reforming the judicial system that sparked a week of mass protests.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Poland's judicial reform sparked anxiety in Brussels, with the EU Commission concluding that it would have a very negative impact on the Polish  judiciary and would threaten the rule of law. The EU Commission stated its readiness to revoke article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty that might suspend Poland's membership rights, such as voting in the Council of Europe.

    "I decided that I will veto the law on the Supreme Court and the law on the National Council of the Judiciary as one that is related to it," Duda said in a televised address.

    Duda stressed he had not known details of the draft law until the lower house of the country's parliament, Sejm, started to consider it.

    "The changes should take place in a way that they do not divide the society and the state," the Polish leader said, adding that he held consultations with lawyers, judges and politicians after the Sejm and the Senate had approved the law on the Supreme Court.

    The bill on judicial overhaul that will remove Supreme Court judges was approved by the Polish Senate on Saturday.

    Earlier last week, the senate adopted two other bills as part of judiciary reform. One of the bills outlines amendments to the law on the National Council of Judiciary, under which members of the Council, aimed at protection of an independent judiciary, will be appointed by the Parliament. The second draft bill will expand the powers of the justice minister, enabling the official to appoint or dismiss chief judges of ordinary courts. The bills need to be signed by the president before entering into force.

    Poland has been facing mass protests amid the judicial reform and the participants of the protests demand from the president to veto all three laws.


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