March 11, 2016 / 2:26 PM / 3 years ago

Rights panel says Polish government top court reform endangers democracy

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - Polish government’s attempted overhaul of the constitutional court would undermine the rule of law and the functioning of democracy in Poland, the rights body Council of Europe’s advisory panel said on Friday.

The reform, passed by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, increased the number of judges needed to pass judgments and change the order in which cases are heard. The opposition has said it paralyses the court’s work and makes it difficult for judges to review, let alone challenge, legislation.

Such changes would have made the court “ineffective,” endangering democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the panel said in a statement.

Reporting by Ilaria Polleschi

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