Poland has recently experienced a constitutional crisis. The crisis involves the role of the Law and Justice Party (PiS) in the election of judges and amendments to the Constitutional Tribunal Act which threatens the independence of the Tribunal. The situation is exacerbated by changes in the media, civil service, police, and prosecution laws introduced by the ruling party. This article analyses the changes, as well as the domestic and international reactions to the crisis, and considers whether the heavy criticism of the PiS is justified, or whether it results from, for instance, specific characteristics of the Polish political system and an unfavourable opinion in Europe about the Law and Justice party.
KEYWORDS: Constitutional crisis, Constitutional Tribunal, Poland, Law and Justice Party, criticism, rule of law, democracy