Thousands protest in Polish cities amid 'constitutional crisis'

The government is refusing to publish the constitutional court's ruling on proposed changes to the court

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People take part in a protest against the government's moves that have paralyzed the nations highest legislative court, the Constitutional tribunal, in Warsaw. Image: Czarek Sokolowski / AP/Press Association Images

Thousands of people have attended protests in Poland amid an ongoing constitutional dispute between the Polish government and the country's highest court.

Among other changes, the government is looking to increase the number of constitutional tribunal judges needed to make rulings - a decision the court has called illegal.

Reuters reports that the government is refusing to publish the court's ruling, as publication would make it binding. Officials have deemed the ruling itself illegal.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Warsaw today, calling on the government to respect Poland's constitution.

Demonstrations were also held in cities including Poznan and Wroclaw, BBC reports.

The court's ruling is supported by opposition parties and the EU, with critics suggesting that the changes would damage the constitutional court's abilities to examine government legislation.

The Council of Europe's Venice Commission has said that while reforms are needed, the government rejecting the court's ruling "would further deepen the constitutional crisis... Not only the Polish Constitution but also European and international standards require that the judgments of a Constitutional Court be respected".