President to veto two judicial bills, says will sign bill on common courts
Polish President Andrzej Duda on Monday said he had decided to veto two judicial bills backed by the government and passed by both houses of parliament. President's spokesman informed that the third act - the common courts bill - would be signed.
One of these bills was to reorganise the country's Supreme Court and the other concerns the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS).
Substantiating his decision, the president said that "in the Polish constitutional tradition" the Prosecutor General had never had any oversight powers over the Supreme Court, or the power to decide who can be a judge of the Supreme Court.
He also suggested that the mode and rules of work of the Supreme Court should not be determined by the Prosecutor General "by drawing up the court’s internal regulations".
"There has been no tradition in Poland for the Prosecutor General to interfere in the work of the Supreme Court", the president said.
"I have decided that I will return to the Sejm - which means veto - the law on the Supreme Court as well as the law on the National Council of the Judiciary because as a result of the Sejm’s work these two laws are interconnected", Duda said on Monday.
Presidential spokesman announced later the President would sign the third judiciary-reforming bill, namely, the common courts act.
The decision to veto the bills on the Supreme Court and the National Judiciary Council was a quick decision prompted by "enormous anxiety and concerns in society", President Andrzej Duda said on Monday.
The president referring to the tense situation recalled recent pickets outside the homes of the Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and the opposition's head Grzegorz Schetyna.
"I did not want this situation to aggravate as this would deepen divisions in the society. There is only one Poland and it needs peace, and as the president I feel responsible for this", Andrzej Duda said.
He added that co-responsible for the situation in the country were also politicians. "I am aware that my decision will be criticised. Maybe by both sides of the political scene, by many citizens", noted the president.