Poland appoints a former government official to head the Supreme Court

Polish President Andre Doda appointed Malgorzata Manowska as the new Supreme Court president on Monday, amid fears that the most important court in the country will now bow to the ruling majority.

The new Supreme Court President is considered a collaborator close to the Minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziebro, and held a prominent position in the Ministry of Justice at the beginning of Ziebro's first assumption of office in the government.

The name Manuska was put out among five candidates on Saturday after five days of heated debate that reflected the country's major political rifts.

The appointment process highlighted the conflict between the so-called "old judges" appointed before the comprehensive judicial reforms introduced by the ruling Law and Justice party and the "new judges" appointed after them.  

According to the "old judges", due process was not taken into account during the selection process by the acting chief justice of the Supreme Court.

The Law and Justice Party began implementing comprehensive judicial reforms when it came to power in 2015, saying that an incompetent system needed a comprehensive restructuring.

However, critics said the reforms were an attempt to control the judicial system. Government critics say the Constitutional Court, as well as the National Council of the Judiciary on ensuring judicial independence, are now under strong political influence.


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