June 25th, 2019
MPs from the Civic Platform-Civic Coalition (PO-KO) opposition grouping have appealed to President Andrzej Duda to veto amendments to the country's penal code. On June 13, the Sejm (lower house), within two days, adopted 41 Senate (upper house) corrections to the Penal Code amendments, increasing the penalties for, among other crimes, child sex abuse and lengthening prison terms for pedophiles. The draft amendments have been sent to the president for signing. The fast-track procedure was made possible by the Sejm speaker's decision to adopt the draft in an ordinary mode. PO-KO MPs believe that during the legislative work, the Sejm's regulations were broken as the ordinary, rather than the code of law procedure, was used. This means that all rulings issued under the amended code may be revoked if the Constitutional Tribunal ever decides that the legislation was passed contrary to law. This poses a huge threat to the Polish criminal system, they said. According to the Chancellery of the Sejm, the fast-track procedure was in accordance with the lower house's regulations.