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POLAND: Supreme Court Appointment

After a turbulent few weeks in the Supreme Court, a part of the appointment process of its First President has been completed. The general assembly of the Court nominated five judges from its ranks. Now, President Andrzej Duda will appoint one of these. Although the top nominee received fifty votes and the last received two votes, the President can choose freely from the candidates. Duda has already stated that he will consider whether candidates “have openly voiced their political views, especially recently”. This is a reference to any judges criticizing the ruling PiS party’s judiciary reforms. As a result, it is unlikely that the nominee with the most votes (Włodzimierz Wróbel) will be chosen as he has been a vocal critic of the ruling party’s reforms. Małgorzata Manowska is currently the most likely candidate (more information in the 15.05 CEC Daily).

After this appointment is complete, the ruling party will have secured favourable influence in all top judiciary entities in Poland. PiS’ reforms started in 2015 with the reform of the Constitutional Tribunal. Warsaw is still conflicted with Brussels over rule of law matters on several specific changes.