Polish judicial body suspended from European network

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A European judicial body has suspended the membership of Poland’s national judiciary council, which appoints judges, citing laws eroding the judicial branch’s independence.

The ruling Law and Justice party has passed laws over the past three years that give the executive and legislative branches new powers over the court system. Recent legislation forces many Supreme Court judges into early retirement.

The European Network for the Councils of the Judiciary said that “extreme circumstances” made Monday’s step necessary and called it “a very sad day.” It said Poland’s National Council of the Judiciary was a founding member and its members “very much respected.”

The development comes a day before the European Union will consider how to react what many members see as an erosion of rule of law in Poland.

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