New Polish Constitutional Tribunal judge elected

Bartlomiej Sochanski was elected by the Sejm, lower house, as a new judge to Poland's Constitutional Tribunal (TK), in a Monday vote of 234 for, 223 against and two abstentions.

Sochanski will replace judge Grzegorz Jedrejek, who died in late January.

Earlier on Monday, the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights gave a positive opinion of the candidate put forward by the ruling party law and Justice (PiS).

In a short debate preceding the vote, MPs of the opposition Civic Coalition (KO), the Left and far-right Confederation parties negatively assessed the candidacy and timing of the election of a new TK judge, amid the coronavirus epidemic.

Sochanski, born in 1955, is a graduate of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, western Poland, has been a lawyer for almost forty years. In the 1980s, he was an activist of the Solidarity Union, which in 1989 toppled the communists from power, and a defence attorney in political processes. He specializes in human rights, European law and economic criminal law.

Under current regulations, a new TK judge will take an oath before the president within 30 days of being elected.