The European Union’s top court has ruled against judicial reforms signed by Poland’s far-right President Andrzej Duda, saying the 2019 reforms violate EU laws regarding the independence of judges. The ruling by the European Court of Justice came a day after an estimated half-million people marched in the capital Warsaw and other Polish cities to protest against Duda and his ruling Law and Justice party. Protesters decried the party’s attacks on reproductive rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ people, independent journalists and civil society groups. Donald Tusk, former Polish prime minister, European Council president and opposition leader, told a crowd in Warsaw that he and other government critics are threatened by a new law that gives the government the power to investigate “Russian influence” in Poland and to ban people from public office without judicial oversight.
Donald Tusk: “If you don’t want citizens’ rights and freedoms to be violated every day, you are against that, then you are against the Law and Justice party. If you don’t want Polish women to be humiliated, for Polish women to be deprived of fundamental rights, even the right to life and security, if you are against those who humiliate Polish women, then you are against the Law and Justice party.”