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Polish President Signs One Of Three Controversial Judicial Reform Bills

Polish President Andrzej Duda

The office of Polish President Andrzej Duda says he has signed into law one of three controversial judiciary reform bills that has sparked large protests and drawn warnings from the European Union.

Duda said on July 24 that he would veto two of three bills that opponents fear would erode the division of powers in the EU country and give the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party too much influence over the courts.

His office said on July 25 that he had signed the third bill.

The legislation allows the justice minister, who is also the prosecutor-general, to name the heads of all lower courts.

Critics say all three bills are unconstitutional, although they welcomed the president's veto of the two other bills.

The bills that were vetoed would have given the justice minister the power to sack all Supreme Court judges and handpick their replacements.

Prime Minister Beata Szydlo later on July 24 criticized Duda's veto, saying she would not back down on pushing for the controversial reforms.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters