In Warsaw, thousands of people came out to protest

In Warsaw, thousands of people came out to protest

The protests organized by the opposition, people came with banners and flags, they are ready for unlimited action.

Police in Warsaw said up to 4,500 people joined the protest on Sunday, while officials from Warsaw's city hall said more than 10,000 people participated. It might prove futile, however, and the bill is likely to be passed by the PiS dominated chamber as the Law and Justice Party has enjoyed a parliamentary majority since 2015.

Protesters waved European Union and Polish flags and shouted "we will defend democracy" at an afternoon demonstration in front of the parliament, which this week passed legislation that critics say gives the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party power over the courts.

Senator Bogdan Borusewicz, from the Civil Platform (PO) main opposition party, said that "both bills destroy judicial independence".

Legislation was adopted late on Friday by the lower house that gives lawmakers the power to appoint members of the National Council of the Judiciary, the body that enforces ethical guidelines for judges, reviews judicial candidates and seeks opinions on new rules and regulations to ensure they are constitutional. Plans are also underway to allow the justice minister to get rid of all of the country's Supreme Court judges and appoint new ones, adding to worldwide concerns about Poland's democratic credentials.

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The bill must now be signed by the president to become law, but a protest against the change was scheduled to take place in the capital Warsaw on Sunday. He insisted the changes were in the public interest and fulfilled the party's election campaign promises.

Crowds gathered outside parliament in Warsaw on Sunday to protest at government plans for sweeping changes to Poland's judicial system. Current judges of the court could be retired under a PiS-backed bill.

Those gathered, who included government critics and leaders of some opposition parties, argued the changes would limit judicial independence and threaten the separation of powers in the country.

PiS supporters argue that the 1989 agreement that led to a gradual - and peaceful - end to communism in Poland didn't go far enough and in effect shielded ex-communists from prosecution after 1989.

The state-run main television channel, TVP1 reported the protests as an "attempted putsch" and underlined the low turnout, Poland's largest daily newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, reported.