Poland's president has signed into law an amendment to how its constitutional court makes rulings that critics say will unfairly strengthen the government's influence within the court.
The amendment, signed into law by President Andrzej Duda on December 28, requires the 15-member court to adopt most of its rulings by a two-thirds margin and with at least 13 judges present for the most contentious cases.
Critics say that will force the constitutional court to include five judges recently appointed to the body by the ruling party-dominated parliament in all key decisions in order to achieve a quorum.
The amendment was drafted by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party which won October's parliamentary election.
The government says the change in court procedure is necessary for the court to properly reflect the results of the election.
The European Commission had expressed concern over the new rules, demanding their introduction be postponed.