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Poland Index
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Constitutional Background

The Constitutional Tribunal now decides about the conformity of statutes to the constitution (Article 188 no. 1) without the House of Representatives' (Sejm's) power to overrule the decision. Local Self-Government has been reinforced by establishing communes (gmina).  An extraordinary provision is the prohibition of communist parties (Article 13).

History and News

  • May 1997: New constitution confirmed by a majority totaling only less than 20% of the electorate in a referendum with a turnout of less than 50%.
  • 2 April 1997: National Assembly adopts new constitution.
  • 19 Nov 1995: Presidential elections: the reformed communist candidate Alexander Kwasniewski beats former President Lech Walesa with a 51% vote. 
  • 11 April 1995: The Parliamentary Drafting Commission votes in favor of including a constitutional provision prohibiting the discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.
  • September 1994: Solidarity trade union collects 959,270 signatures under "citizens' draft of constitution".
  • October 1992: Interim constitution adopted. 
  • 1952: Stalin-era Constitution adopted. 
  • May 1791: After four years of discussion and drafting, Poland gets the first freely adopted, written constitution in Europe. The only earlier written Constitution in Europe was imposed on Sweden.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - December 16th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.