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19 Dec 2019 | 08:07 AM UTC

Poland: Protests reported across the country December 18 /update 1

Protests reported across the country over judicial reform December 18; further protests possible in the coming days

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Event

Thousands of protesters gathered across Poland on the evening (local time) of Wednesday, December 18, to denounce the ruling party's judicial reforms that would grant the government the power to fire or fine judges. Protests notably took place outside Parliament in Warsaw, as well as in Wroclaw, Torun, Poznan, Szczecin, Katowice, and Bialystok. The legislation is expected to be discussed on Thursday, December 19, potentially leading to additional protests across the country.

Similar protests are possible across Poland over the near term amid a heightened security presence. Localized disruptions to transportation and business are expected near demonstration sites.

Context

Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has vowed to keep reforming its justice system after winning the parliamentary election in October. The new laws would give the government the power to fire or fine judges expressing opposing views to that of the government.

Advice

Individuals in Poland are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations, anticipate transportation disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.