German justice minister open for EU sanctions against Poland

AP , Sunday 23 Jul 2017

Heiko Maas
File Photo: German justice minister Heiko Maas (AP)

Germany's justice minister is welcoming possible European Union sanctions against Poland because of that country's controversial judicial reforms.

Minister Heiko Maas on Sunday told the weekly paper Bild am Sonntag that "the independence of the judiciary is in danger in Poland." He says "somebody who gives so little respect to the rule of law has to accept that he isolates himself politically."

The minister added "the EU cannot stand and watch inactively. Rule of law and democracy are the bedrock of the EU."

Poland's court legislation, approved Saturday, has drawn condemnation from EU leaders and led to major protests across Poland.

Proposed by the populist ruling party, the law gives the justice minister and the president the power to appoint and assess Supreme Court judges. Critics say that will kill judicial independence.

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