Polish MPs in heated debate over rules on Constitutional Tribunal
PR dla Zagranicy
A parliamentary committee has decided to back a bill on the Constitutional Tribunal based on proposals put forward by Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, rejecting proposals submitted by the opposition.
A meeting of the Justice and Human Rights Committee. Photo: PAP/Jakub Kamiński
At the request of the committee’s head, Stanisław Piotrowicz, the members decided in a vote to only leave the draft bill put forward by PiS.
Four new bills on the Constitutional Tribunal were put forward in parliament before yesterday’s meeting. One of the bills was proposed by Law and Justice, one by the opposition Polish People’s Party, the third by Kukiz 15’, and the fourth by the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD), which opposes sweeping reforms that ruling party PiS has pushed through since coming to power in October.
The meeting of the Justice and Human Rights Committee lasted for over seven hours and ended at 3:30 am.
Opposition MPs unsuccessfully demanded breaks, and their request for a so-called public hearing was rejected. During the meeting, PiS MPs, who have a majority in the committee, introduced a speaking time limit of two minutes.
The bill by Law and Justice sets forth that rulings would be made by a simple majority vote, while requiring 11 judges to be present.
Earlier in June, the head of Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice party, Jarosław Kaczyński, said new rules changing the way the country’s Constitutional Tribunal works could be adopted in July.
The tribunal has been at the centre of a bitter, ongoing political row. A stalemate over the court has sparked criticism abroad and protests in the country. The European Commission has initiated a so-called rule of law procedure against Poland. (ał/pk)