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European Commission to check if Polish bill on judges ‘undermines court

The European Commission will closely examine whether a new Polish draft law undermines the independence of the judiciary, a spokesman for the European Union’s executive, Christian Wigand, said on Monday.

The EU has accused Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party of politicizing the judiciary since it swept to power in 2015. PiS argues that the reforms are necessary to make Poland’s courts more efficient.

Under the legislation PiS submitted to parliament on December 12, judges could be sacked if they question the legitimacy of its judicial reforms. It also says judges must inform their superiors of past membership of political parties and of any activity in non-governmental organizations and on social media.

PiS wants to prevent Polish judges from ruling that their peers, nominated by a panel appointed by PiS, are not independent and therefore that their rulings may be questioned, Reuters said.

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