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Judges and Prosecutors Are Under Fire Across Eastern Europe

  • Attack on courts part of eastern Europe’s illiberal turn
  • EU belatedly fighting back as Poland, Romania follow Hungary
A protester holds a picture of Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro stuck to a wheelbarrow
A protester holds a picture of Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro stuck to a wheelbarrow

Photographer: Wojtek Radwanski /AP Photo

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Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro is cashing a blank check. Based on a law passed by the ruling Law & Justice party, in the past two months he’s removed more than two dozen senior judges, including the head of a regional court that was deliberating a case involving his family.

The dismissals, which continue despite an unprecedented European Union probe into potential rule-of-law abuses in Poland, are part of a drive to centralize power in the style of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who’s leading an eastern European rebellion against the EU’s model of liberal democracy.