The US State Department stated:

The Polish government has continued to pursue legislation that appears to undermine judicial independence and weaken the rule of law in Poland,” ... “We urge all sides to ensure that any judicial reform does not violate Poland’s constitution or international legal obligations and respects the principles of judicial independence and separation of powers.”

The New York times elaborates:

Brushing aside warnings from the European Union and ignoring tens of thousands of protesters in the streets, Poland’s Parliament gave final approval to a landmark measure on Saturday that would restructure the Supreme Court, putting it under effective control of the governing party.

My question is: What are the reasons that Poland's people would allow the elimination of separation of powers?

  • 5
    I don’t understand why they would do this. – Uh, being able to do what you (as the government or the ruling party) want without being stopped by judges seems like a good thing? To the rulers, at least. E.g., Donald Trump didn’t like it when his travel ban was suspended by courts, either.
    – chirlu
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 3:04
  • 2
    I'm not sure I understand your question. The New York Times article you link to seems pretty clear evidence of exactly what you ask about.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 11:19
  • 2
    how is the government eliminating the separation of power? first we should establish what are they doing. NYT as usual gives an opinion as a fact. The State Department does not elaborate either. (NYT readers?). How the new regulations are different from the laws in e.g. Germany and France?
    – user18889
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 7:18
  • 1
    @Tlen - I was wondering the same, so I've pinched your comment and made it a question, hope you don't mind! politics.stackexchange.com/questions/27004/…
    – Nick C
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 10:39
  • 1
    Poland's people are not directly asked though. Parliament acts in this case.
    – jjack
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 6:01

1 Answer 1


This is of course a speculative answer, since it is difficult to say what is really going on the heads of the people. I found a report of Public Radio International that states:

However, many Poles support the current powers and actually say these reforms are a divorce from old communist judicial systems.

Tomasz Sakiewicz, the editor-in-chief of right-wing newspaper Gazeta Polska and a supporter of drastic judicial reforms, says these changes aren’t about controlling the judiciary.

“We want to change it, to reform because it comes from communist times,” he says. “It’s completely broken by corruption — a mafia system.”

Sakiewicz says most Poles think the courts need reform. An opinion poll in May found 63 percent of Polish citizens think the judiciary needs to make some serious changes.

So it seems plausible to assume that the main reasons are:

  1. Distrust in the justice system as being corrupt and needing supervision by politicians that seem at least more trustworthy than the justice system itself (note that many people in Poland actually trust the PiS and especially Jarosław Kaczyński, and the church endorses them),
  2. Antagonism to communism: What comes from communist times, must be broken and a replacement is assumed to be better, even if imperfect,
  3. Ignorance of the actual consequences and not believing in the criticism from EU or leftist media,
  4. Actually, a desire for a strong leader and/or a contempt for democracy (although I suspect that this applies to only a minor part of the population, but as it exists in virtually any country, it surely also is present in Poland).

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