FIRST AIRED: July 19, 2017

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> Polish lawmakers are debating whether to move forward with a bill that critics, including the European Union, say would destroy the independence of their court system.>>
FOREIGN]
> A law that would dismiss members of its Supreme Court, and leave the ultimate power to replace them in the hands of the ruling socially conservative Law and Justice Party, known locally as The PiS.
00:00:23
Reuter's Marchon in Warsaw.>> According to the bill, all judges on the Supreme Court would be dismissed except for those selected by a key judicial panel. Currently, this panel is composed mostly of judges, but PiS also wants to make the panel composed mostly of people who are selected by Parliament.
00:00:41
Indirectly, the parliamentary majority could appoint and dismiss judges to the Supreme Court. The PiS Party says, this way, Poland's general public would gain influence over the selection of the Supreme Court. And they say, this would make the court more accountable. The political opponents of PiS say this is an attempt to undermine the division of powers in Poland, and basically greatly increase the influence of politicians over the judiciary.
00:01:08
>> Thousands of protest at the proposal, picketing Parliament since Sunday. President Andrzej Duda making a rare break from the PiS, which he usually supports, to threaten to veto the bill unless it's amended to increase the majority lawmakers need to influence that judical panel. The party's been in power for two years.
00:01:27
This is the latest in a string of attempts to exert more control over the court, state media and prosecutors. It now faces possible legal action from the EU, but the odds are slim.>> It would have to gain the approval of all European Union members, for example, to put sanctions on Poland.
00:01:49
However, the Eurosceptic government of Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian government, has said before that it would not back any sanctions on Poland.>> Reports suggest the bill's fate could be determined this week.