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The Constitution of Poland

A Contextual Analysis

By: Miroslaw Granat, Katarzyna Granat
Media of The Constitution of Poland
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Published: 17-06-2021
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 296
ISBN: 9781509952205
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Constitutional Systems of the World
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
RRP: £34.99
Online price : £31.49
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About The Constitution of Poland

This book focuses on the Polish Constitution of 1997, concentrating on its structure, its substance and some of the institutional choices made by the drafters. The core of the Constitution is similar to other liberal democratic constitutions, but, in addition, it regulates a number of issues – such as public finances and sources of law – that are new to Polish constitutionalism and to constitutionalism in general. It considers in a detailed manner certain institutional choices made in the Constitution, such as the bicameral parliament, the peculiar structure of the executive branch, as well as the principle of independence of courts and judges, fundamental rights and local government. The book is a vital resource for all those interested in Poland's Constitution, and the rich comparative constitutional insights the country offers.

In addition to explaining the 1997 Constitution in its political, historical, and social context, the book tackles the radical changes, in particular within the judicial branch, introduced by the new governing majority since 2015. These new regulations, constitutional in character, but without formally changing the Constitution, challenged the rule of law, a key component of membership in the European Union. Despite the negative nature of these recent developments, the anchoring of Polish constitutional law in European constitutionalism presents a source of optimism that the 1997 Constitution will regain its position as the supreme law of the state.

Table Of Contents

1. Polish Constitutional History and Tradition
I. Introduction
II. Independence and Republicanism
III. Democratic Tradition
IV. Freedom in Polish Constitutionalism
V. The Evolution of Human Rights in Poland
VI. The Development – and Crisis – of Constitutional Review
VII. Conclusion
2. The Fundamental Principles of the Polish Constitution
I. Introduction
II. Key Principles of the Polish Constitution
III. Sources of Law
IV. The Functioning of the Constitution without a Formal Amendment
V. Conclusion
3. Parliament
I. Introduction
II. The Electoral System and the Composition of Parliament
III. The Impact of Political Parties on the Parliament
IV. The Functioning of Parliament in the Presence of Majority Governments and Weak Bicameralism
V. The Parliament and European Integration
VI. The Future of Poland's Second Chamber
VII. Conclusion
4. The Executive
I. Introduction
II. The President
III. The Council of Ministers and Government Administration
IV. Conclusion
5. Judicial Power
I. Introduction
II. The Constitutional Structure of the Polish Courts
III. Independent Courts and Independent Judges as the Backbone of Judicial Power
IV. National Judges as EU Judges
V. Conclusion
6. Constitutional Review and Constitutional Accountability
I. Introduction
II. The Constitutional Court
III. Constitutional Accountability (Tribunal of State)
IV. Conclusion
7. Local Governance
I. Between a Civil Society and a Political State
II. Citizens as the Beneficiaries of Local Self-Government
III. Self-Government and Government Administration at the Local Level
IV. Difficulties in Oversight of Local Self-Government
V. Local Self-Government in the EU
VI. Conclusion
8. Constitutional Freedoms and Rights
I. Introduction
II. Three Bills of Rights
III. General Principles of Human Rights in Poland
IV. The Limited Scope of Individual Obligations
V. The Mechanisms of Protection of Fundamental Rights
VI. Conclusion
9. Facing the Future
I. Introduction
II. The Constitution in Action
III. The EU's Response to the Judicial Crisis
IV. Constitutional Amendment Proposals under Discussion
V. The Role of Constitutional Identity in the Battle for the Constitution
VI. Conclusion

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