Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said on Tuesday that Poland “will not accept external intervention” in controversial moves to overhaul the legal system backed by the country’s ruling conservatives, The News PL reports.
He was commenting on a planned fact-finding visit to Warsaw on Wednesday and Thursday by the Venice Commission, an advisory group to human rights body the Council of Europe.
The Polish PAP news agency reported that the Venice Commission will in December issue two reports on Poland: one on changes to the country’s prosecution service and a second on plans for sweeping changes to courts.
Waszczykowski said during a visit to Palermo in Sicily: “We will not accept external intervention in this process of transforming” the judicial system.
He added: “I consider the process that we are currently conducting, the democratisation and reform of the judiciary, to be a Polish internal issue.”
He said Poland was “not dismantling the separation of powers” and “not abandoning the independence of the judiciary.”
A Venice Commission delegation comprising experts on constitutional law is on Wednesday and Thursday expected to meet politicians from the lower and upper houses of the Polish parliament, officials from the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the citizens’ rights ombudsman, lawyers’ groups and rights groups including Amnesty International.
The European Commission said in July that it was ready to trigger a formal warning by the EU if Poland dismisses or forces the retirement of Supreme Court judges.
The EU’s executive warned that Poland’s overhaul of its judicial system threatened the independence of courts.
In an interview published in Italy’s Corriere della Sera daily on Monday, Waszczykowski said Brussels was “prejudiced” against Poland.
He added: “The judiciary is the last part of the Polish system that has not yet been democratised after the collapse of communism [in 1989]. It is corrupt and inefficient.”