Poland's parliament has passed contested new legislation regulating the Constitutional Tribunal, something critics say will paralyze the court and make it unable to act as a check on the power of the country's new right-wing government.

The vote Tuesday comes as Poland is coming under increasing criticism internationally and at home for its attempts to neutralize the court, with large street protests supporting both sides in past weeks.

Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted 235 to 181 Tuesday in favor of the legislation.

The ruling Law and Justice party, which pushed for the changes, says it wants to reform a court that is still controlled by "cronies" of the past government, claiming its victory in October elections as a mandate by voters to make deep changes.