Polish lawmakers approved proposals last month that will allow sanctions against judges who opposed the reforms, which Supreme Court president Malgorzata Gersdorf has denounced as a “muzzle-law”. Thousands of Warsaw residents joined the protest, many waving Polish and EU flags, as they marched from the Supreme Court to parliament. In a letter made public on Friday, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner Dunja Mijatovic called on the Senate, where the opposition holds a narrow majority, to reject the bill. Mijatovic expressed concern that it was “designed to further silence dissent among critical judges and prosecutors and curtail their independence”. Senate Speaker Tomasz Grodzki has signalled the upper house, where the opposition holds a narrow majority, is likely to reject or change the legislation next week. However, the PiS-dominated lower house could still overturn its decision and force it into law.