>> The head of Poland's supreme court Malgorzata Gersdorf arrived to work on Wednesday despite new legislation forcing her to retire. It was an act of protest against new rules that gave the country's ruling Law and Justice Party de facto control over the judicial system. Moves that also pit Poland against the much of the larger European Union.
Protests sparked at the stroke of midnight when it came into effect. Up to a third of supreme court judges could now be forced out unless granted an extension by the Nationalist President Andrzej Duda. Reuters Justyna Pawlak is in Warsaw.>> Some believe that this is actually what's needed, that you need to get rid of old-time judges, bring in new ones that could make the court system work better.
Others believe that, in fact, what the government is doing is not making the courts more efficient. It's gaining control or assuming control over the judiciary, which they see as a move against democracy and democratic standards.>> The European Union's leadership in Brussels is steadfastly against it all. But the bloc is struggling to reign in Poland's rebellion.
Another populous member state's going against the grain.>> I think it's up in the air. I think EU officials themselves are divided and are unclear as to how to proceed. Some countries have made it very clear, such as Hungary, that they would defend Poland against the most punitive measures that the EU has in its arsenal.
Whereas there are others, like countries in the Baltics, that maybe haven't threatened to veto any sections against Poland but are sympathetic. There's the question of countries like Romania, where the government is also moving against the judiciary.>> The Law and Justice Party came into power in 2015, and it's steadily increased its control of the courts.
They've also put tighter controls on the media.