Anti-government protesters raise candles and wave flags, as they gather in front of the Supreme Court in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, July 22, 2017. Protests have broken out across Poland over plans by the populist ruling party Law and Justice to put the Supreme Court and the rest of the judicial system under the party's political control. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

German justice minister open for EU sanctions against Poland
Jaypee Lao (Associated Press) - July 23, 2017 - 7:44pm

BERLIN — Germany's justice minister is welcoming possible European Union sanctions against Poland because of that country's controversial judicial reforms.

Minister Heiko Maas on yesterday told the weekly paper Bild am Sonntag that "the independence of the judiciary is in danger in Poland." He says "somebody who gives so little respect to the rule of law has to accept that he isolates himself politically."

The minister added "the EU cannot stand and watch inactively. Rule of law and democracy are the bedrock of the EU."

Poland's court legislation, approved Saturday, has drawn condemnation from EU leaders and led to major protests across Poland.

Proposed by the populist ruling party, the law gives the justice minister and the president the power to appoint and assess Supreme Court judges. Critics say that will kill judicial independence.

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