Europe

Polish court at heart of conflict marks 30th anniversary

  • A man walks past the Constitutional Tribunal building, in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. An international human rights body, the Venice Commission, has criticized Friday the new legislation in Poland regulating the Constitutional Tribunal, the nation's top legislative court, saying the new law "gives excessive power to parliament and the executive over the judiciary." (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

    A man walks past the Constitutional Tribunal building, in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. An international human rights body, the Venice Commission, has criticized Friday the new legislation in Poland regulating the Constitutional Tribunal, the nation's top legislative court, saying the new law "gives excessive power to parliament and the executive over the judiciary." (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Aug. 11, 2016 photo judges attend a session of the Constitutional Tribunal in Warsaw, Poland. An international human rights body, the Venice Commission, has criticized Friday Oct. 14, 2016 the new legislation in Poland regulating the Constitutional Tribunal, the nation's top legislative court, saying the new law "gives excessive power to parliament and the executive over the judiciary." (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

    In this Aug. 11, 2016 photo judges attend a session of the Constitutional Tribunal in Warsaw, Poland. An international human rights body, the Venice Commission, has criticized Friday Oct. 14, 2016 the new legislation in Poland regulating the Constitutional Tribunal, the nation's top legislative court, saying the new law "gives excessive power to parliament and the executive over the judiciary." (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)  (The Associated Press)

A top court at the heart of Poland's political turmoil and Europe's concern about the nation's rule of law is marking its 30-year anniversary.

The ceremonies honoring the Constitutional Tribunal are being held Monday in the northern city of Gdansk, the cradle of Poland's democracy.

Defying the government, Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz offered to host the observances after Poland's parliament, dominated by the ruling party, cut the court's budget.

The ruling conservative Law and Justice party is taking steps to control the court and prevent it from blocking government-proposed legislation.

European Union leaders have expressed concern about Poland's rule of law and thousands of Poles have marched in protest against the government's actions.

The government believes it will prevail after the term of the court's current head expires Dec. 19.