Polish Society of Constitutional Law

Resolution of the Polish Society of Constitutional Law, adopted during the General Meeting of the Members, Kliczków, 12 June 2018

The legislation adopted between 2016 and 2018 on the constitutional judiciary, the ordinary judiciary, the Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary violates the principles of the common good, constitutionalism, the democratic state of law, the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary and constitutes a threat to the constitutional identity of the Republic of Poland, in particular the freedom and rights of the individual and the internal sovereignty of the state.

The Polish Society of Constitutional Law urges all organs of public authority to respect the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and to immediately and fully restore the legal order in accordance with the Constitution.

The vote:
For – 42, Against – 1, Abstentions – 3

Opinion of the Board of the Polish Constitutional Law Society, 16 July 2017

The Board of the Polish Society of Constitutional Law expresses their concern about the ongoing and planned changes in the Polish judiciary. The separation and independence of the judiciary from other authorities are the foundations of a democratic state of law and necessary elements of the principle of the tripartite division of power, as well as fundamental guarantees of judicial independence. The restoration of these principles after 1989 is one of the greatest achievements of the political transformation in Poland. Reform of the judiciary is necessary, but it cannot be carried out in violation of basic democratic standards, thus deepening the existing constitutional crisis.

The laws adopted by the Sejm and the Senate to amend the system of common courts and the National Council of the Judiciary, as well as the parliamentary bill on the Supreme Court, constitute an unconstitutional change of the state system and deprive citizens of their right to an independent and impartial court. They do not serve Poland, which ceases to be a common good of all citizens, and in no way do they improve the efficiency and speed of judicial proceedings. Significantly increasing the influence of the executive power on the organisation and operation of the judiciary will not only fail to improve its functioning, but will also diminish the credibility of the judiciary in the opinion of the public, thus producing the opposite effect to what was declared by the authors of the proposed solutions.

Politics cannot override the law, and significant political changes cannot be made without the participation of citizens and a broad public debate. Therefore, we appeal for a real debate on the reform of the judiciary in Poland in which not only political forces but also other groups, especially the judiciary administration and academics, can participate.

Resolution of the Polish Society of Constitutional Law adopted at the General Meeting of the Members, Warsaw, 30 June 2016

The Polish Society of Constitutional Law expresses great concern about the constitutional crisis in Poland. The Constitution was adopted by the nation through a referendum and thus constitutes an asset of special value. It is the supreme law of the Republic of Poland and, unless it itself provides otherwise, can be applied directly. The duty of conscientious obedience to the Constitution is primarily the responsibility of the government bodies and the persons holding office. This implies not only a prohibition on infringing the Constitution openly, but also on circumventing its principles and norms by employing unreliable methods of interpretation and taking advantage of existing loopholes. The Constitution may not be interpreted by anyone in a manner that is intended to achieve only short-term political gain and in disregard of the particularities of its interpretation. The deepening constitutional crisis is a consequence of the disregard of axiological arguments and theoretical principles underlying constitutional provisions when interpreting them. It is neither beneficial for Poland, which ceases to be a common good, nor for its citizens. It also leads to a decline in the legal, political and general culture of Poles.

The rule of law implies the primacy of law over politics. This is not possible without ensuring compliance with the Constitution by effective organs of judicial power, including first of all the Constitutional Tribunal, which should have full capacity to exercise its constitutional powers.

The Polish Constitutional Law Association appeals for a quick resolution of the dispute in the spirit and in compliance with the binding Constitution.

Statutory tasks

The aim of the Society is to support the development of the study of constitutional law, to disseminate relevant knowledge and to contribute to the development of the democratic constitutional institutions of the Republic of Poland.


The Society fulfils its objectives by initiating and organising academic research, including comparative law research, preparing expert opinions, promoting the exchange of ideas, organising lectures, discussion meetings and national and international conferences and cooperating with the International Constitutional Law Association and similar national associations.

The Society is a member of the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL)/ Association Internationale de Droit Constitutionnel (IADC), with its headquarters in Pretoria, South Africa.

The Polish Constitutional Law Society is a registered association with the status of a legal entity (KRS no.: 0000052610), acting on the basis of the current law on societies.

The outreach of the Society

The Society comprises the entire community of constitutional lawyers in Poland, particularly those associated with academic centres, as well as practitioners employed in the legal departments of state bodies. According to the Society’s statutes, any academic conducting research in the field of constitutional law or – with the consent of the Board – any other person interested in the problems of the Constitution and its practical application may become an ordinary member of the Society. The Society is a nationwide association, though its activities have an international outreach in that it represents Polish constitutional law to the academic community abroad, for instance, within the structures of the International Association of Constitutional Law, and it engages in numerous activities to represent and promote national achievements in constitutional research. The statutes do not provide for a separate membership for foreigners.


The Polish Society of Constitutional Law contributes to the development of the science of constitutional law in Poland by initiating and organising research on selected problems of particular significance to the constitutional practice of the Polish state. It brings together the communities and groups professionally that are involved in constitutional law, researching it, teaching it in academic institutions and applying it in practice, and thus it facilitates the exchange of ideas and research findings, as well as contributing to the maintenance of valuable contacts between scholars and practitioners in the area of constitutional law. It mediates in the promotion of Polish scholarly output abroad and initiates and supports the participation of Polish scholars in congresses and conferences worldwide, especially those organised by the International Society for Constitutional Law. It also fosters bilateral and regional academic relationships by organising academic meetings and conferences. It disseminates the outcomes of research and launches the publication of scholarly works.

The General Meeting of the Society’s members is convened annually on the occasion of the Sessions of the Constitutional Law Chairs, organised by each academic institution. The General Meeting – in accordance with the statutes – sets the general direction of the Society’s activities.

As part of conceptual work on the new Polish constitution, the Society has carried out a comprehensive analysis of its axiological premises and historical, international and comparative law contexts, as part of a research project entitled ‘Fundamental Theoretical Dilemmas of the New Polish Constitution’. The project was coordinated by Professor Kazimierz Działocha and encompassed the whole community of Polish constitutionalists. It was carried out as research ordered by the Chancellery of the Sejm in the State Committee for Scientific Research (P1. 1100207). It resulted in a series of eight collective publications, issued by the Sejm Publishing House in 1997: Paweł Sarnecki (ed.), Constitutionalisation of system principles and institutions; Janusz Trzciński (ed.), The nature and structure of constitutional norms; Eugeniusz Zwierzchowski (ed.), Law and supervision of its compliance with the constitution; Michał Domagała (ed.), Constitutional systems of government; Wiesław Skrzydło (ed.), Constitution and structure of the state and local government; Leszek Wiśniewski (ed.), Protection of fundamental rights of the individual; Andrzej Gwiżdż (ed.), System fundamentals, structure and functioning of the Parliament; and Maria Kruk (ed.), International and European law in the domestic legal system. The most important research project of the Polish Society of Constitutional Law between 2002 and 2006 was the study The main problems of applying the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, ordered by the Committee of Scientific Research following a public tender, and financed by it (KBN PBZ-MiN-003/H02/2002). As stated in the final report of the project, ‘convinced that a sufficiently long period of time had passed since the Constitution came into force, the Polish Society of Constitutional Law, mindful of the role played by Polish constitutionalists during the works on the concept of the Constitution of 1997, took the initiative to conduct research on the fundamental application of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.’ The purpose of the research was to answer three closely related questions: about the compliance of the application of the constitutional principles and institutions with the principles adopted by the legislature, especially those stipulated in the preamble and in the first two chapters of the Constitution; about the problems and difficulties arising in the process of the application of the Constitution, as well as their causes – resulting both from extralegal circumstances and from the shortcomings of the Constitution itself; and finally, about the extent of the required changes in the Constitution, in accordance with the research on the practice of its application.

As a result of the project, thirteen books have been published, and the University of Wrocław Publishing House between 2004 and 2006. The following volumes were published by the Sejm Publishing House: Kazimierz Działocha (ed.), Direct application of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland; Marian Grzybowski (ed.), System of government: The constitutional model and political practice; Zdzisław Jarosz (ed.), The Parliament: The constitutional model and political practice; Cezary Kosikowski (ed.), Principles of social and economic system in the process of applying the constitution; Paweł Sarnecki (ed.), Regional and local government: System principles and practice; Wiesław Skrzydło (ed.), Courts and tribunals in constitution and practice; Andrzej Szmyt (ed.), The constitutional system of law sources in practice; Leszek Wiśniewski (ed.), Freedom and rights of an individual and their guarantees: Problems of law and practice; Krzysztof Wójtowicz (ed.), Opening the Constitution of the Republic of Poland to international law and integration processes; and Sławomira Wronkowska (ed.), The principle of the democratic legal state in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

International activities

The Polish Society of Constitutional Law is one of the largest and most active national branches of the International Society of Constitutional Law. As one of the founders of the ISCL (1981, Belgrade) and the initiator of the Polish academic organisation of constitutionalists, Professor Sylwester Zawadzki was awarded the title of Honorary President of the ISCL. Professor Leszek Garlicki, the former President of the Polish Constitutional Society, is a member of the Executive Committee of the ISCL and holds the office of Vice President of the ISCL, while Professor Maria Kruk-Jarosz and Professor Krystian Complak are members of the Council of the ISCL, which is the highest official body of the Society.

According to its statutes, the Society coordinates the participation of Polish attendees at the ICCS Congresses and Round Table Conferences. Starting from the Second International Congress of Constitutional Law in Paris at Aix-en-Provence in 1986, through the congresses in Warsaw in 1991, Tokyo in 1995, Rotterdam in 1999 and Santiago de Chile in 2004, to the congresses in Athens in 2008 and Mexico City in 2011, members of the Polish Section, and now the Society, have delivered many highly praised papers.

In recognition of the scientific work of the Polish Section, the ICCS authorities entrusted it with the organisation of the Third International Law Congress in Warsaw, in September 1991, on the bicentenary of the enactment of the first European constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791. In addition, the Section, and later the Society, hosted the ISCL Round Table Conference twice: in October 1985 in Warsaw on The role of constitutional law in preventing legislative inflation and improving the quality of law (Warsaw) and in September 2000 in Kazimierz Dolny on the Vistula River on Ten years of democratic constitutionalism in Central and Eastern Europe. The materials of both conferences were published, the first as a brochure, the second in a book entitled Ten years of democratic constitutionalism in Central and Eastern Europe. This extensive publication (approx. 420 pages), published in English (some texts are in French and Russian), is an unprecedented presentation of the status of political system reforms in post-communist countries due to the wide participation of authors from almost all countries of the region. Copies of the book have been distributed to constitutionalists abroad, including, in particular, partners from the ISCL.

Prezes: prof. Krzysztof Skotnicki
Wiceprezes: prof. Jerzy Jaskiernia
Wiceprezes: prof. Ewa Popławska
Wiceprezes: prof. Marek Zubik
Sekretarz Zarządu: dr Lech Jamróz
Skarbnik: prof. Aldona Domańska
Członek Zarządu: dr Ryszard Balicki
Członek Zarządu: prof. Monika Florczak-Wątor
Członek Zarządu: prof. Sławomir Patyra
Członek Zarządu: prof. Ryszard Piotrowski

Przewodnicząca: prof. Małgorzata Masternak-Kubiak
Członek: dr Agnieszka Gajda
Członek: prof. Marian Grzybowski

Instytut Nauk Prawnych
Polskiej Akademii Nauk
ul. Nowy Świat 72 (Pałac Staszica)
00-330 Warszawa
tel.: 22/826-75-71
e-mail: inp@inp.pan.pl