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Poland - Constitution 1952 (Extracts) Index Page Document Table of Contents

    { Articles which are to remain in force pursuant to Article 77: }

 

Chapter I  Foundations of the Political and Economic System

 
Article 1
The Republic of Poland is a democratic state ruled by law and implementing the principles of social justice.
 
Article 2
(1) Supreme power in the Republic of Poland shall be vested in the Nation.
(2) The Nation shall exercise its power through its representatives elected to the House of Representatives and to the Senate.  The exercise of such power may also be implemented by means of a referendum.  The principles and the methods of holding a referendum shall be established by law.
 
Article 3
(1) Observance of the laws of the Republic of Poland shall be the fundamental duty of every organ of State.
(2) All the organs of State authority and administration shall work on the basis of compliance with the law.
 
Article 4
(1) Political parties shall be formed voluntarily and shall be based upon the equality of all citizens of the Republic of Poland.  Their purpose shall be to influence the formulation of the policy of the State by democratic means.
(2) The Constitutional Tribunal shall adjudicate upon the inconsistency of the aims or activities of a political party with the Constitution.
 
Article 5
The Republic of Poland shall guarantee the participation of local self-government in the exercise of power and freedom of activity to other forms of self-government.
 
Article 6
The Republic of Poland shall guarantee freedom of economic activity regardless of the type of ownership; restrictions of this freedom may be imposed only by means of statute.
 
Article 7
The Republic of Poland shall protect ownership and the right of succession and shall guarantee comprehensive protection of personal property.622  Expropriation may be allowed exclusively for public purposes and for just compensation.
 
Article 8
The Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland shall safeguard the sovereignty and independence of the Polish Nation, its security and peace.
 

Chapter IV  Tribunals and Other Institutions

 
Article 33a
(1) The Constitutional Tribunal5413 shall adjudicate upon the conformity to the Constitution of laws and other no native acts enacted by main and central State organs, and shall formulate universally binding interpretation of the laws.
(2) Judgements of the Constitutional Tribunal on the non-conformity of laws to the Constitution are subject to examination by the House of Representatives.
(3) Judgements of the Constitutional Tribunal on the non-conformity of other normative acts to the Constitution or laws are binding.  The Constitutional Tribunal shall apply measures to remove any non-conformity.
(4) Members of the Constitutional Tribunal shall be elected by the House of Representatives from among persons who are distinguished in knowledge of the law.
(5) Members of the Constitutional Tribunal shall be independent5421 and subject only to the Constitution.
(6) The jurisdiction, organization and procedure of the Constitutional Tribunal shall be determined by law.
 
Article 33b
(1) The Tribunal of State shall adjudicate upon responsibility for infringements of the Constitution and laws by persons holding supreme State offices which are specified by law.
(2) The Tribunal of the State may adjudicate upon the criminal responsibility of persons who are being prosecuted for reasons specified in Paragraph 1 and for any offenses committed in connection with their office.
(3) The Tribunal of State is elected by the House of Representatives, from persons not being Deputies, for the period of the House of Representatives's term of office.
(4) The First President of the Supreme Court shall be the Chairman of the Tribunal of State.
(5) Judges of the Tribunal of State are independent and subject only to the laws.
(6) The jurisdiction, organization and procedure of the Tribunal of State shall be determined by law.
 
Article 34
(1) The Supreme Chamber of Control is appointed to control the economic, financial and organizational-administrative activities of organs of state administration, enterprises and other organizational units subordinated to such organs, from the point of view of legality, economic efficiency, efficacy, and integrity.
(2) The Supreme Chamber of Control may also undertake, within the scope determined by law, control of cooperative organizations and their unions, social organizations as well as units of the non-socialized economy.
 
Article 35
(1) The Supreme Chamber of Control is subordinate to the House of Representatives.
(2) The Supreme Chamber of Control shall present to the House of Representatives its comments upon the reports of the Council of Ministers concerning the implementation of the national social and economic plan as well as an assessment of the implementation of the State Budget.
(3) The Supreme Chamber of Control shall annually present to the House of Representatives a report upon its activities.
 
Article 36
(1) The President of the Supreme Chamber of Control is appointed and recalled by the House of Representatives, with the consent of the Senate.
(2) The Supreme Chamber of Control acts collectively.  The organization and mode of functioning of the Supreme Chamber of Control is determined by law.
 
Article 36a
(1) The Commissioner for Citizens' Rights shall safeguard the observance of Citizens' rights and freedoms specified in the Constitution and other legal provisions.
(2) The Commissioner for Citizens' Rights shall be appointed by the House of Representatives, with the consent of theSenate, for a four-year term of office.
(3) The mode of functioning of the Commissioner for Citizens' Rights shall be determined by law.
 
Article 36b
(1) The National Council of Radio Broadcasting and Television shall safeguard the freedom of speech, citizens' rights to be informed and shall protect public interests in radio broadcasting and television.
(2) Members of the National Council of Radio Broadcasting and Television shall be appointed by the House of Representatives, Senate and President.
(3) On the basis of statutes and in order to implement them, the National Council of Radio Broadcasting and Television shall issue regulations and executive orders.
(4) The principles relating to the appointment of members of the National Council of Radio Broadcasting and Television, to its organization and to the manner of its functioning shall be established by statute.
 

Chapter VII  The Courts and the System of Public Prosecution

 
Article 56
(1) The administration of justice in the Republic of Poland shall be carried out by the Supreme Court, the common courts and special courts.541
(2) Boards for the Adjudication of Misdemeanors shall judicially settle cases of misdemeanors.
(3) The structure, jurisdiction and procedure of the Courts and the Boards for the Adjudication of Misdemeanors shall be defined by laws.
 
Article 57
The Courts shall pronounce judgements in the name of the Republic of Poland.
 
Article 59
(1) People's lay-judges shall take part in the hearing of cases and in the pronouncement of judgement, with the exception of instances defined by law.
(2) When adjudicating upon cases in courts, the people's lay-judges shall have the same rights as professional judges.
(3) People's lay-judges shall be elected.  The rules and mode of election of the people's lay judges of common and special courts and their terms of office shall be defined by law.
 
Article 60
(1) {...}
(2) Judges are irremovable except in instances specified by law.
(3) The powers, composition and procedure of the National Council of the Judiciary shall be established by law.
 
Article 61
(1) The Supreme Court shall be the main judicial organ and shall supervise the work of all other courts in respect of their adjudications.
(2) The mode of exercising supervision by the Supreme Court shall be defined by law.
(3) {...}
(4) The First President of the Supreme Court shall be chosen from among the judges of the Supreme Court by the House of Representatives, which may recall him on the motion of the President of the Republic, but Presidents of the Supreme Court shall be appointed and may be recalled by the President of the Republic.
 
Article 62
Judges shall be independent and subject only to the law.
 
Article 63
(1) Cases in all courts of the Republic of Poland shall be heard in public.  The law may specify exceptions to this rule.
(2) The accused shall be guaranteed the right to defence.  The accused may have defence counsel, either of his own choice, or appointed by the court.
 
Article 64
(1) The Office of Public Prosecution shall safeguard observance of the law and the prosecution of offenses.
(2) The Office of Public Prosecution is subordinate to the Minister of Justice who holds the office of the Prosecutor General.
(3) The method of appointment and recall of prosecutors as well as the principles of organization and procedure of the Office of Public Prosecution shall be defined by law.
 

Chapter VIII  The Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens

 
Article 67
(1) The Republic of Poland shall strengthen and extend the rights and freedoms62 of citizens.
(2) Citizens of the Republic of Poland shall have equal63 rights irrespective of sex, birth, education, profession, nationality, race, religion, social status, and origin.
(3) It shall be the duty of the citizens of the Republic of Poland to conscientiously perform their duties toward the Homeland and contribute to its development.
 
Article 68
Citizens of the Republic of Poland shall have the right to work: that is, the right to employment paid in accordance with the quantity and quality of the work done.
 
Article 69
(1) Citizens of the Republic of Poland shall have the right to rest and leisure.
(2) The right to rest and leisure shall be assured to employees: by the statutory reduction of working time through the application of the eight-hour working day, shorter working time in cases specified by law, by statutory days free from work and by annual paid holidays.
(3) The organization of holiday schemes, the development of tourism, health resorts, sports facilities, community centers, clubs, recreation rooms, parks, and other leisure time facilities shall provide opportunities for healthy and cultural recreation to an increasing number of working people in town and country.
 
Article 70
(1) Citizens of the Republic of Poland shall have the right to health protection and to assistance in the event of sickness or inability to work.
(2) This right shall be implemented to an increasing degree by:
1.  the development of social insurance to cover sickness, old age and inability to work, and by enlargement of various forms of social assistance;
2.  the development of State-organized protection of health and by the raising of health standards of the population, free medical assistance for all working people and their families, a steady improvement of safety conditions, protection and hygiene at work, extensive prevention and treatment of disease, and care for the disabled;
3.  the development of hospitals, sanatoria, out-patient clinics, medical aid centers, and sanitation facilities.
 
Article 71
Citizens of the Republic of Poland shall have the right to benefit from the natural environment and it shall be their duty to protect it.
 
Article 72
(1) Citizens of the Republic of Poland shall have the right to education.
(2) The right to education shall be ensured to an increasing degree by:
1.  free education;
2.  universal and compulsory elementary education;
3.  universalization of secondary education;
4.  development of higher education;
5.  assistance from the State in raising the skills of citizens employed in industrial establishments and other places of employment in town and country;
6.  a scheme of State scholarships, the development of hostels, boarding schools and students' hostels, as well as other forms of material aid.
 
Article 73
(1) Citizens of the Republic of Poland shall have the right to benefit from cultural achievements and to creatively participate in the development of national culture.
(2) This right shall be increasingly ensured by developing and making available to the working people of town and country:  libraries, books, press, radio, cinemas, theaters, museums and exhibitions, houses of culture, clubs and recreation rooms; by comprehensively promoting and stimulating of cultural creative activity by the people and developing of creative talents.
 
Article 74
The Republic of Poland shall foster the comprehensive development of science based on the achievements of the most advanced thought of mankind and of progressive Polish thought, that is, science in the service of the Nation.
 
Article 75
The Republic of Poland shall concern itself with the development of literature and arts which express the needs and aspirations of the Nation, and which are in keeping with the best progressive traditions of Polish creativity.
 
Article 76
The Republic of Poland shall ensure comprehensive protection to the veterans of struggles for national and social liberation.
 
Article 77
The Republic of Poland shall extend special protection to the creative intelligentsia, that is, to those working in the field of science, education, literature and art, as well as to pioneers of technological progress, rationalizers and inventors.
 
Article 78
(1) Women in the Republic of Poland shall have equal rights with men in all fields of public, political economic, social and cultural life.
(2) The equality of the rights of women shall be guaranteed by:
1.  equal rights with men to work and to be paid according to the principle "equal pay for equal work", the right to rest and leisure, to social insurance, to education, to honors anddecorations, and to hold public offices;
2.  mother-and-child care, protection of expectant mothers, paid leave before and after confinement, the development of a network of maternity clinics, creches and nursery schools, the extension of a network of service establishments and canteens;
3.  The Republic of Poland shall strengthen the position of women in society, especially of gainfully employed mothers and women.
 
Article 79
(1) Marriage, motherhood and family shall be safeguarded and protected by the Republic of Poland.  The State shall extend special protection to families with many children.
(2) It shall be the parents' duty to bring up their children to become law-abiding citizens who are aware of their duties as citizens of the Republic of Poland.
(3) The Republic of Poland shall ensure the implementation of rights and obligations in respect of alimony.
(4) Children born without marriage shall have rights equal to those born within marriage.
(5) The Republic of Poland, being mindful of the interests of the family, shall strive to improve housing conditions, and, in co-operation with citizens, shall develop and promote various forms of residential construction, especially those promoted by co-operative societies, and shall show care in the proper management of housing resources.
 
Article 80
The Republic of Poland shall devote special attention to the education of youth and shall ensure it substantial opportunities for development and provide conditions for active participation of the younger generation in public, political, economic, and cultural life, encouraging awareness in young people of their joint responsibility for the development of the Homeland.
 
Article 81
(1) Citizens of the Republic of Poland, irrespective of nationality, race, or religion, shall enjoy equal rights in all fields of public, political, economic, social, and cultural life.  Infringement of this principle by any direct or indirect privileges or restrictions of rights by reference to nationality, race, or religion shall be punishable.
(2) The spreading of hatred or contempt, the provocation of discord, or humiliation of man on account of national, racial, or religious differences, shall be prohibited.
 
Article 82
(1) The Republic of Poland shall guarantee freedom of conscience and religion623 to its citizens.  The Church and other religious organizations shall freely exercise their religious functions.  Citizens shall not be prevented from taking part in religious activities and rites.  No one may be compelled to participate in religious activities or rites.
(2) The Church shall be separate from the State.  The principles of the relationship between State and Church, and the legal and property rights of religious organizations shall be defined by laws.
 
Article 83
(1) The Republic of Poland shall guarantee its citizens freedom of speech6242, of the press, of assembly and gatherings, of processions and demonstrations.
(2) {...}
 
Article 84
(1) In order to promote political, social, economic, and cultural activities, the Republic of Poland shall guarantee the right of association to its citizens.
(2) Political organizations, trade unions, associations of working peasants, co-operative associations, youth, women's, sports, and defence organizations, cultural, technical and scientific societies, as well as other social organizations shall associate citizens in active appreciation in political, social, economic, and cultural life.
(3) It shall be prohibited to set up and to participate in associations whose objective or activities threaten the social and political system or the legal order of the Republic of Poland.
 
Article 85
Trade unions shall play an important public function in the Republic of Poland as mass organizations which take part in the formulation and implementation of tasks of social and economic advancement of the country; the trade unions shall represent the interests and rights of working people, and shall be a school of civic activity and involvement in the creation of civic society.
 
Article 86
(1) Citizens of the Republic of Poland shall participate in exercising social control, in consultations and discussions upon important issues concerning the development of the country, and may submit their suggestions.
(2) Citizens shall have the right to approach all organs of the State with complaints and grievances.
(3) Appeals, complaints, and grievances of citizens shall be examined and settled without delay and justly.  Those guilty of delay or an indifferent and bureaucratic attitude, shall be held accountable.
 
Article 87
(1) The Republic of Poland shall guarantee to its citizens the inviolability of the person.  A citizen may be deprived of his freedom only in cases specified by law.  A detained person shall be set free unless a warrant of arrest issued by a court or by a prosecutor has been served on him within forty-eight hours beginning with the moment of his detention.
(2) The inviolability of the home and the privacy of correspondence shall be protected by law.  The home may be searched only in cases specified by law, and only by virtue of a final judgment of a court.
 
Article 88
The citizens of other states and stateless persons may be granted asylum on the basis of principles specified by law.
 
Article 89
Polish citizens staying abroad shall enjoy the protection of the Republic of Poland.
 
Article 90
It shall be the duty of a citizen of the Republic of Poland to abide by the provisions of the Constitution and laws, to respect the principles of community life, and diligently discharge his duties toward the State.
 
Article 91
It shall be the duty of every citizen of the Republic of Poland to safeguard public ownership and to strengthen it as the firm foundations of the States development and a source of the wealth and power of the Homeland.
 
Article 92
(1) It shall be the sacred duty of every citizen to defend the Homeland.
(2) Military service shall be an honorable patriotic duty of citizens of the Republic of Poland.
 
Article 93
(1) It shall be the duty of every citizen of the Republic of Poland to exercise vigilance against enemies of the Nation and carefully guard State secrets.
(2) High treason, that is espionage, subversion of the Armed Forces, desertion to the enemy, shall be punished as the gravest of crimes and with the full severity of the law.
 

Chapter IX  Elections to House of Representatives, Senate, and to the Presidency

 
Article 95
Every citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years, irrespective of sex, nationality, and race, religion, education, length of residence, social origin, profession or financial status, shall have the right to vote.6271
 
Article 96
Every citizen who has attained the age of twenty one years shall be qualified to be elected to the House of Representatives and Senate, provided he has been permanently resident on the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period of at least 5 years.
 
Article 97
Women shall possess all electoral rights on equal terms with men.
 
Article 98
Citizens serving in the Army shall possess all electoral rights on equal terms with civilians.
 
Article 99
Electoral rights shall be denied to persons pronounced incapable of legal actions by a final decision of a court given on the grounds of mental illness or mental deficiency and denied also to persons who are deprived of public or electoral rights by a final decision of a court.
 
Article 100
Candidates to the House of Representatives, to the Senate, and for the Presidency shall be nominated by political and social organizations and the electorate.
 
Article 101
It shall be the duty of Deputies of the House of Representatives and of Senators to report to their electors on their work and on the activity of the body to which they have been elected.
 
Article 102
The procedure for the nomination of candidates and for holding elections of Deputies, Senators, and President shall be defined by laws.
 

Chapter X  The Coat-of-Arms, Colors, National Anthem, and Capital

 
Article 103
(1) The image of a crowned white eagle upon a red field shall be the coat-of-arms of the Republic of Poland.
(2) White and red shall be the colors of the Republic of Poland.
(3) 'Dabrowski's Mazurka' shall be the national anthem of the Republic of Poland.
(4) Details shall be specified by law.
 
Article 104
The coat-of-arms, colors, and national anthem of the Republic of Poland shall enjoy respect and be objects of special protection.
 
Article 105
Warsaw, a city which embodies the heroic traditions of the Polish Nation, shall be the capital of the Republic of Poland.
 

Chapter XI  Procedure for Amending the Constitution

 
Article 106
The Constitution may be amended only by a law passed by the House of Representatives of the Republic of Poland by a majority of at least two-thirds of the votes requiring the presence of at least half of the total number of Deputies.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - May 29th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.