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Polish justice system needs deep reform: PM

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 08.09.2017 14:30
Poland’s justice system is in need of in-depth reforms, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said on Friday.
PM Beata Szydło speaks at the launch of the "Justice" campaign in Warsaw on Friday. Photo: PAP/Radek PietruszkaPM Beata Szydło speaks at the launch of the "Justice" campaign in Warsaw on Friday. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

She was speaking at the launch of a campaign aimed at telling the public about what the government believes are indispensable changes in the country's judiciary.

The campaign, called "Justice,” will be conducted in Poland and abroad by an organisation known as the Polish National Foundation.

The campaign is designed to show people “just how dysfunctional the Polish justice administration system is,” Szydło said, arguing that legal changes were “expected by the Polish people.”

"We do not want things to be the way they used to be; we want them to be different. And ‘different’ means that the Polish justice system should serve citizens," Szydło said.

She argued that the campaign was needed in order to counter “information disseminated among the public, especially abroad, that the changes in the Polish judiciary are undemocratic.” This kind of message discredits Poland on the international arena, she suggested.

The head of the Polish National Foundation, Cezary Jurkiewicz, told reporters that, despite claims by critics, the campaign was “purely informational” rather than political or designed to promote the view of a single political party.

In July, Polish President Andrzej Duda vetoed two of three government-backed bills to overhaul the justice system. Opponents have accused the country’s ruling conservatives of aiming to pack courts with loyalists and of dismantling the rule of law with the reforms.

The leader of Poland’s ruling conservative party said in late July that the president’s decision to veto two controversial judicial reform bills was a "serious mistake”.

Jarosław Kaczyński, head of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, added that the government would continue to move forward with major reforms.

Kaczyński also said that judicial reform was vital, adding that the courts were “sick” and “sick courts means a sick society”.

PiS supporters have criticised Polish courts for taking too long to hear cases, and have accused judges of being an elite, self-serving clique often out of touch with the problems of ordinary citizens.

But the planned reforms were slammed domestically and abroad.

Poland is locked in a dispute with the European Commission over legal changes in the country.

The Polish National Foundation is an organisation set up by 17 state-owned companies that aims to promote Poland internationally. (gs/pk)

Source: IAR

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