Another European voice has joined the chorus of criticism against Poland’s judicial reforms. The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), which is made up of senior judges, lawyers and legal scholars, called on Polish President Andrzej Duda to revoke a new Supreme Court law that forces into early retirement more than a third of judges at the body.

The Supreme Court change is part of a broad overhaul of the judiciary by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

According to the Reuters news agency, EU officials and opposition figures in Poland call it an attempt by the government to increase its hold over the judiciary.

In a letter to Duda, the ICJ said it was “gravely concerned” with the Supreme Court moves that were “contrary to basic principles of the rule of law”.

In defence, Warsaw argues it is trying to rid the Polish courts of old practices three decades after the country overthrew communism.