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April Constitution of Poland

Contents

I. The Republic of PolandEdit

Art. 1.
(1) The Polish State is the common weal of all its citizens.
(2) Resurrected by the efforts and sacrifices of its worthiest sons it is to be bequeathed as a historic heritage from generation to generation.
(3) It is the duty of each generation to increase the power and authority of the State by its own efforts.
(4) For the fulfilment of this duty each generation is responsible to posterity with its honour and good name.
Art. 2.
(1) The President of the Republic stands at the head of the State.
(2) The responsibility before God and history for the destinies of the State rests on him.
(3) His supreme duty is to care for the welfare of the State, for its readiness to meet attack and for its position among the nations of the world.
(4) The one and indivisible authority of the State is united in his person.
Art. 3.
(1) The organs of the State subordinate to the President are
the Government,
the Seym,
the Senate,
the Armed Forces,
the Courts of Justice,
the State Control.
(2) Their supreme task is to serve the Republic.
Art. 4.
(1) The life of the community rests upon and forms itself within the framework of the State.
(2) The State assures free development of community life and, when public welfare requires this, directs and coordinates its conditions.
(3) The State shall establish a territorial and economic self-government for participation in the accomplishment of the tasks of collective life.
Art. 5.
(1) The creativeness of every individual citizen is the lever of collective life.
(2) The State assures its citizens the possibility of developing their personal capabilities, as also liberty of conscience, speech and assembly.
(3) The limit of these liberties is the common good.
Art. 6.
It is the duty of the citizens to be loyal to the State and faithfully to discharge obligations imposed upon them by it.
Art. 7.
(1) The rights of a citizen to influence public affairs will be estimated according to the value of his efforts and services for the common good.
(2) These rights cannot be restricted by origin, religion, sex, or nationality.
Art. 8.
(1) Labour is the basis for the development and power of the Republic.
(2) The State extends protection over labour and supervises its conditions.
Art. 9.
The State aims at uniting all its citizens in harmonious cooperation for the common good.
Art. 10.
(1) No activity shall be counter to the aims of the State, as expressed in its laws.
(2) In case of resistance the State applies means of compulsion.

II. The President of the RepublicEdit

Art. 11.
The President of the Republic as a superordinate factor of the State coordinates the activities of the supreme organs of State.
Art. 12.
The President of the Republic:
(a) appoints at his own discretion the Prime Minister and on his recommendation nominates the other Ministers;
(b) convenes and dissolves the Diet (Seym) and Senate;
(c) opens, adjourns and closes sessions of the Seym and Senate;
(d) is the Supreme Head of the Armed Forces;
(e) represents the State abroad, receives representatives of foreign States and sends out representatives of the Polish State;
(f) decides on war and peace;
(g) concludes and ratifies treaties with other States;
(h) nominates State officials whose appointment is reserved to him.
Art. 13.
(1) The President of the Republic enjoys personal rights constituting his prerogatives.
(2) These prerogatives include:
(a) the designation of one of the candidates for the Presidency of the Republic and the calling of a referendum;
(b) the appointment of his successor in time of war;
(c) the nomination and dismissal of the Prime Minister, the First President of the Supreme Court and the President of the Supreme Board of Control;
(d) the appointment and dismissal of the Commander-in-Chief and of the Inspector-General of the Armed Forces;
(e) the nomination of the judges of the Tribunal of State;
(f) the nomination of the Senators receiving their mandate by the President's selection;
(g) the appointment and dismissal of the Director and officials of the President's Household;
(h) the dissolution of the Seym and Senate before the expiration of their term;
(i) impeachment of members of the Government before the Tribunal of State;
(j) application of the right of pardon.
Art. 14.
(1) The official acts of the President of the Republic require for their validity the countersignature of the Prime Minister and of the competent Minister.
(2) For official acts arising out of the President's prerogatives countersignature is not necessary.
Art. 15.
(1) The President of the Republic is not responsible for his official acts.
(2) For actions not connected with the discharge of his duties the President of the Republic cannot be arraigned during the term of his office.
Art. 16.
(1) The election of the President of the Republic takes place as follows:
(2) A candidate for Presidency is chosen by the Assembly of Electors.
(3) The retiring President of the Republic has the right to propose another candidate.
(4) If the retiring President of the Republic avails himself of this right, the new President of the Republic shall be chosen by a referendum from between two candidates: the one elected by the Assembly of Electors and the one proposed by the retiring President of the Republic.
(5) If the retiring President of the Republic declares, that he does not intend to use his right to propose a candidate, or if within seven days after the choice made by the Assembly of Electors he does not propose another candidate and does not call a referendum, the candidate of the Assembly of Electors shall be considered elected as the President of the Republic.
Art. 17.
(1) The Assembly of Electors consists of the Speaker (Marshal) of the Senate as chairman, the Speaker (Marshal) of the Seym as vice-chairman, the Prime Minister, the First-President of the Supreme Court, the Inspector-General of the Armed Forces and 75 Electors chosen from among the worthiest citizens two-thirds of whom are chosen by the Seym and one-third by the Senate.
(2) The mandates of the Electors lapse by force of the law itself on the day the newly elected President of the Republic assumes office.
Art. 18.
(1) The Assembly of Electors is convened by the President of the Republic not later than fifteen days before the expiration of his term of office.
(2) Three days before the date of the session of the Assembly, the Seym and Senate shall meet separately, on the invitation of their Speakers, for the election of the Electors.
(3) If the Seym and Senate are dissolved and the result of the new elections to the Legislative Chambers is not yet announced—the choice of the Electors shall be made by the deputies and senators who composed the preceding Seym and Senate.
Art. 19.
(1) The President of the Republic before assuming office takes the following oath:
Conscious of my responsibility before God and history for the destinies of the State, I swear as President of the Republic, before God Almighty united in the Holy Trinity, to defend the sovereign rights of the State, to guard its dignity, to apply the Constitution, to administer equal justice to all the citizens, to avert evil and danger from the State and to regard solicitous care for the welfare of the State as my supreme duty. So help me God and His Son's Holy Passion. Amen.
(2) The Act of Oath shall be signed by the newly elected President of the Republic and by the officials present.
Art. 20.
(1) The term of office of the President of the Republic lasts seven years counting from the day on which he assumes office.
(2) This term shall be extended by the time necessary for the electoral procedure to be concluded in case a referendum for the election of a new President of the Republic should be called.
Art. 21.
If the President of the Republic dies before his seven year term of office expires, or if he resigns his office, the Speaker of the Senate shall immediately summon the Assembly of Electors, so that they may select a candidate for the Presidency; in the event that he proposes another candidate himself, he shall call a referendum.
Art. 22.
(1) Should the President of the Republic be permanently unable to execute his functions, the Speaker of the Senate shall summon a joint session of the Legislative Chambers ii order to decide whether the President is to be considered as vacant.
(2) The resolution recognizing the office as vacant passes by a three-fifths majority of the statutory number o the members of the combined Chambers.
(3) Should the above resolution be passed, the Speaker of the Senate shall immediately summon the Assembly o Electors.
Art. 23.
While the office of the President of the Republic is vacant, the Speaker of the Senate exercises the functions of the President in his place, and should the Senate be dissolved, the Speaker of the dissolved Senate; he then enjoys all the rights vested in the office of the President of the Republic.
Art. 24.
(1) In time of war the term of the President's office shall be prolonged to three months after the conclusion of peace; the President of the Republic shall then by a special ac promulgated in the Official Journal of Laws, appoint his successor, in case the office falls vacant before the conclusion of peace.
(2) Should the President's successor assume office, the term of his office shall last up to the lapse of three months after the conclusion of peace.

III. The GovernmentEdit

Art. 25.
(1) The Government directs the affairs of State which are not reserved for the other organs of authority.
(2) The Government consists of the Prime Minister and the Ministers.
(3) The Prime Minister represents the Government, directs its works and determines the general principles of State policy.
(4) The Ministers direct their respective departments of State administration, or execute special tasks entrusted to them.
(5) The organization of the Government and in particular, the scope of activity of the Prime Minister and of the Council of Ministers and of the Ministers shall be defined by a decree of the President of the Republic.
Art. 26.
For the purpose of passing on matters requiring the decision of all the members of the Government, the Ministers form the Council of Ministers, (the Cabinet), with the Prime Minister as chairman.
Art. 27.
(1) The Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers and the Ministers have the right to issue orders for the execution of legislative acts and in reference to such acts.
(2) These orders shall not be contrary to the legislative acts and shall be promulgated in the Official Journal of Laws.
Art. 28.
The Prime Minister and the Ministers are politically responsible to the President of the Republic and may be dismissed by him at any time.
Art. 29.
(1) The Seym, in exercising its right of parliamentary control over the activities of the Government, may demand the resignation of the Cabinet or of a Minister.
(2) It is only during an ordinary session that such a motion can be made; it cannot be voted upon during the same sitting during which it was proposed.
(3) Should the motion pass in the Seym by an ordinary majority vote, and the President of the Republic does not in three days dismiss the Cabinet or the Minister, nor dissolve the Legislative Chambers, the motion shall be examined by the Senate during its nearest session.
(4) Should the Senate vote for the motion which has been passed by the Seym, the President of the Republic shall dismiss the Cabinet or the Minister, unless he dissolves the Seym and the Senate.
Art. 30.
(1) Independently of the political responsibility of the Prime Minister and the Ministers to the President of the Republic, and their parliamentary responsibility to the Seym, they are constitutionally responsible before the Tribunal of State for wilfully violating the Constitution or any other legislative act in connexion with their functions.
(2) The right to invoke constitutional responsibility of the Prime Minister or of a Minister is vested in the President of the Republic as also in the Seym and Senate in joint session.
(3) The decision of the combined Chambers to arraign the Prime Minister or a Minister before the Tribunal of State requires a three-fifths majority in the presence of at least one-half of the statutory number of members of the combined Chambers.

IV. The SeymEdit

Art. 31.
(1) The Seym exercises legislative functions and controls the activities of the Government; the Seym also fixes the budget and imposes charges upon the citizens.
(2) The control over the Government activities is expressed in the right of the Seym:
(a) to demand the resignation of the Cabinet or of a Minister;
(b) jointly with the Senate, to invoke the constitutional responsibility of the Prime Minister or of a Minister;
(c) to file questions before the Cabinet;
(d) to approve, each year, the final State accounts and to grant the Government release;
(e) to participate in the control over State debts.
(3) The functions of governing the State do not belong to the Seym.
Art. 32.
(1) The Seym consists of deputies elected by universal, secret, equal and direct suffrage.
(2) The term of the Seym lasts five years counting from the day on which it is convened.
(3) The dissolution of the Seym before the expiration of its term, requires a statement of cause.
(4) The President of the Republic issues writs for new elections within thirty days after the dissolution of the Seym.
(5) The voting shall take place not later than sixty days after the issue of the writs.
(6) Members of the Armed Forces belonging to the mobilized parts of the Army or Navy do not participate in the voting.
Art. 33.
(1) Every citizen, irrespective of sex, has the right to vote if he has completed 24 years of age prior to the issue of the writs and if he enjoys, in full, his civil and civic rights.
(2) Every citizen, who has the right to vote, has also the right of eligibility, if he has attained the age of thirty.
(3) An Act in respect of elections to the Seym, shall determine the division of the country into constituencies, fix the number of deputies, establish electoral procedure and shall also define the classes of persons deprived of the right of voting and of the right of eligibility for lack of sufficient moral or intellectual qualities.
Art. 34.
(1) The Seym elects, from among its members, a Speaker for the term of its office.
(2) Until the next Seym is constituted, the Speaker retains the prerogatives vested in him for the election of the President of the Republic.
Art. 35.
(1) The Seym shall be convened for the first session of a new term not later than within thirty days after the announcement of the result of the elections to the Legislative Chambers.
(2) The ordinary session of the Seym shall be opened every year at the latest in November and cannot be closed before the lapse of four months unless the budget shall have been adopted at an earlier date.
(3) The ordinary session can be adjourned for thirty days.
(4) An adjournment for a longer period, or an additional adjournment, requires the agreement of the Seym.
(5) The recess period caused by an adjournment of the session is not taken into account for the period prescribed by the Constitution for the activities of the Seym.
Art. 36.
(1) The President of the Republic may at any time call at his own discretion, an extraordinary session of the Seym; he shall do so within thirty days, on the motion of at least half the statutory number of deputies.
(2) During an extraordinary session the Seym can debate only on matters stated in the President's summons or in the motion of the deputies demanding such a session, and on matters which by laws or rules of procedure require to be dealt with at the nearest session, or which will be considered urgent by the President of the Republic on the motion of the Prime Minister or of the Speaker.
Art. 37.
The resolutions of the Seym are adopted by a majority vote in the presence of at least one-third of the statutory number of deputies, unless the Constitution provides otherwise.
Art. 38.
(1) The sessions of the Seym are public.
(2) The Seym may enact debates in camera.
(3) The minutes and stenographic records, issued on the Speaker's order are the only documentary evidence of the proceedings of the Seym debates.
(4) No one may be held responsible for publishing and disseminating reports of public debates of the Seym if they fully and exactly report these debates.
Art.39.
(1) The deputies take the following oath before accepting their mandate;
Conscious of the duty of loyalty to the Polish State I do you; solemnly and pledge my honour, in my capacity as deputy to the Seym of the Republic, not to cease in work for the welfare of the State and to consider the care for its dignity, unity and strength as my first duty.
(2) A refusal, on the part of a deputy to take the oath or taking the oath with reservation is equivalent to a rejection of the mandate.
Art. 40.
The deputies receive remuneration and have the right to use gratuitously the State-owned means of communication within the boundaries of the State.
Art. 41.
(1) The deputies enjoy only such assurances of immunity as are necessary for their participation in the work of the Seym.
(2) The deputies are responsible only before the Seym for speeches held in the Seym or for motions, questions and for improper behaviour during debates.
(3) For actions, however, contrary to the duty of loyalty to the Polish State, or bearing the nature of an indictable offence, a deputy may be arraigned before the Tribunal of State by a resolution of the Seym or on the demand of the Speaker or of the Minister of Justice, and by the verdict of that Tribunal be deprived of his mandate as a deputy.
(4) For infringing the rights of a third person during the deliberations of the Seym a deputy may be obliged to answer before a Court of Justice only with the permission of the Seym,
Art. 42.
(1) For activities not connected with their participation in the work of the Seym, deputies are responsible equally with other citizens.
(2) A criminal or administrative prosecution, however, or a disciplinary inquiry instituted against a deputy before or after his receiving his mandate, should on the demand of the Seym be stayed till the expiration of his mandate.
(3) The time during which a criminal prosecution or an disciplinary inquiry has been stayed is not included in the period of limitation.
(4) A deputy, who has been detained during a session but not on the ground of a warrant issued by a Court of Justice shall be immediately released on the demand of the Speaker of the Seym.
Art. 43.
(1) A deputy may not hold a senatorial mandate.
(2) Offices and posts, the taking of which entails the loss of a deputy's mandate, shall be determined by law.
(3) A deputy is not permitted to conduct activities incompatible with the holding of a mandate, under pain of the consequences envisaged by the law.
Art. 44.
(1) A deputy is not permitted in his own or in any other name or on behalf of enterprises, associations and companies set up for gainful purposes, to acquire or lease State property, to undertake supplies to the Government and to execute public works, or to obtain concessions or any other personal emoluments from the Government.
(2) For the violation of the aforesaid prohibitions deputies shall be arraigned on the demand of the Speaker or of the President of the Supreme Board of Control before the Tribunal of State, and by a verdict of the Tribunal they may be deprived of their mandate as deputies and of the personal emoluments received from the Government.
(3) In pursuance of a resolution of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, passed by a majority of three-fifths, the Speaker of the Seym may allow a deputy in special cases to enter into contractual relations with the Government if this relation is not contrary to accepted usage.
Art. 45.
(1) The Prime Minister, the Ministers and officials delegated by them have the right to attend the sessions of the Seym and to take the floor regardless of the order of speakers.
(2) The deputies may question the Prime Minister and Ministers on matters within their competence, in the manner prescribed by the rules of procedure.
(3) The prime Minister or the questioned Minister must answer within forty-five days or give the reasons justifying refusal to give explanations.

V. The SenateEdit

Art. 46.
(1) The Senate as the second Legislative Chamber examines the budget and the projects of laws passed by the Seym, and it also participates in the exercise of control over State debts.
(2) The Senate also takes part, equally with the Seym, though without the right of initiative, in deciding the following matters:
(a) motions demanding the dismissal of the Cabinet or a Minister;
(b) bills referred back by the President of the Republic to the Legislative Chambers for reconsideration;
(c) amendments of the Constitution;
(d) the repeal of measures introducing a state of emergency.
Art. 47.
(1) The Senate consists of Senators, one-third of whom are nominated by the President of the Republic and two-thirds by election.
(2) The term of office of the Senate begins and ends at the same time as the term of office of the Seym.
(3) The Senate Election Law shall fix the number of Senators and determine the method of their appointment as also the categories of persons who shall have the right of suffrage and of eligibility.
Art. 48.
Arts. 34–45, concerning the Seym, apply respectively to the Senate.

VI. LegislationEdit

Art. 49.
(1) Legislative Acts are:
(a) laws;
(b) decrees of the President of the Republic.
(2) No legislative act may be contrary to the Constitution.
Art. 50.
(1) The right of legislative initiative is vested in the Government and the Seym.
(2) Legislative initiative in matters regarding the Budget, the contingent of army, recruits and the ratification of international agreements pertains exclusively to the Government.
(3) The Diet may not without consent of the Government pass a law entailing expenditure, for which there is no cover in the budget.
Art. 51.
The obtaining of State loans, the disposal or mortgage of State real-estate appraised at a sum of over 100,000 Zlotys, the imposition of taxes and public levies, the introduction of import duties and monopolies, the fixing of the monetary system as also the acceptance of financial guarantees by the Treasury — shall take place only on the strength of a legislative act.
Art. 52.
(1) Agreements with other countries: commercial, customs tariff, permanently burdening the State Treasury, containing obligations to impose new burdens upon the citizens or obligations to impose new burdens upon the citizens or evoking change in the frontiers of the State — require before ratification the agreement of the Legislative Chambers expressed in the form of a law.
(2) In cases not permitting delay, the President of the Republic may, on the motion of the Council of Ministers, put provisionally into effect all or some of the clauses of customs-tariff or commercial agreements before their ratification.
Art. 53.
(1) Each Bill passed by the Seym shall be submitted to the Senate for consideration.
(2) A resolution of the Senate rejecting or amending a Bill is considered as accepted unless the Seym rejects it by a three-fifths majority.
Art. 54.
(1) The President of the Republic shall confirm with his signature the validity of laws passed constitutionally and shall order their promulgation in the Journal of Laws.
(2) The President of the Republic may within thirty days of the receipt of a Bill refer it back to the Seym with the demand that it be reconsidered, but this can take place not earlier than during the next ordinary session.
(3) If the Legislative Chambers pass the Bill without amendment for a second time by a majority of the statutory number of deputies and senators, the President of the Republic shall order its promulgation after having confirmed the validity of the law with his signature.
Art. 55.
(1) The law may authorize the President of the Republic to issue decrees within the period and the scope determined by it; amendments of the Constitution shall not be included in such authorization.
(2) While the Seym is dissolved, the President of the Republic has the right, in case of State necessity, to issue decrees within the limits of State legislation with the exception of:
(a) amendments to the Constitution;
(b) the laws concerning elections to the Seym and the Senate;
(c) the budget;
(d) the imposition of taxes and establishment of monopolies;
(e) the monetary system;
(f) the issue of State loans;
(g) the disposal and mortgaging of State real estate valued at a sum over 100,000 zlotys.
(3) Decrees issued in pursuance of provisions of the present article shall be issued on the motion of the Council of Ministers and can be amended or abrogated only by a legislative act.
Art. 56.
Decrees concerning the organization of the Government, the Supreme command of the Armed Forces and the organization of State administration may be issued at any time; they can be amended or abrogated only by similar decrees of the President of the Republic.
Art. 57.
(1) The Decrees of the President of the Republic have the force of law and shall be published in the Journal of Laws with reference made to their constitutional basis.
(2) Whenever the Constitution or laws require a bill for settlement of a particular legislative question, this matter may also be settled by a decree of the President of the Republic, issued in accordance with the conditions specified by the Constitution.

VII. The BudgetEdit

Art. 58.
(1) A law annually fixes the budget of the State.
(2) The Government submits budget estimates to the Seym not later than four months before the beginning of the budgetary year.
(3) For the examination of the budget the Seym is allowed a period of ninety days from the presentation of the budget estimates by the Government; the Senate is allowed a period of twenty days after the expiration of the term fixed for the Seym.
(4) For the consideration of amendments proposed by the Senate the Seym is allowed ten days from the expiration of the term fixed for the Senate:
(5) The President of the Republic shall order the promulgation of the budget:
(a) in the version proposed by the Legislative Chambers, if the Seym and the Senate have considered the budget within the fixed periods;
(b) in the version adopted by the Seym, if the Senate has not considered the budget within the fixed period;
(c) in the version proposed by the Senate, if the Seym has not within the fixed period considered the budget or the amendments introduced by the Senate;
(d) in the version proposed by the Government if neither the Seym nor the Senate have examined the budget within the allotted periods.
Art. 59.
(1) Expenditure not estimated for in the budget cannot be adopted, and if estimated, may not be increased without the agreement of the Government.
(2) The Government may not make any expenditure without the authorization of a statute unless State necessity arises; in such case, the Government shall, on the basis of a decision of the Council of Ministers make the essential expenditure but must submit to the Seym, within seven days after the decision, the project of a law for the granting of supplementary credits. The decision of the Council of Ministers shall simultaneously be published in the official gazette and shall be notified to the Supreme Board of Control.
Art. 60.
(1) The State cannot remain without a budget.
(2) If, on account of the dissolution of the Legislative Chambers, the budget or at least the provisional estimates are not adopted by the beginning of the new budgetary year —the Government has the right to collect revenues and meet expenses within the limits of the preceding year's budget up to the time of the adoption of the provisional estimates or of the budget, which the Government shall submit to the Seym at its first sitting.
(3) The aforesaid principle applies analogously in case the Seym rejects the presented project of the budget in its entirety; in such event the Government shall within seven days after such rejection submit to the Seym a new project of the budget or provisional estimates whilst the expenditure made by the Government on the basis of the preceding year's budget cannot exceed in each individual item the expenditure proposed in the rejected budget.

VIII. The Armed ForcesEdit

Art. 61.
(1) The Armed Forces guard the safety and sovereign rights of the Republic.
(2) All citizens are bound to do military service and to offer services for the defence of the State.
Art. 62.
(1) The President of the Republic year by year orders the conscription of army recruits within the limits of the fixed contingent.
(2) A legislative act is necessary for any change in the contingent.
Art. 63.
(1) The President of the Republic issues decrees in his capacity as the supreme Head of the Armed Forces; he will in particular decide by a decree the organization of the chief military authorities fixing the method of countersigning acts issued by him as the supreme Head of the Armed Forces.
(2) The President of the Republic decides on the use of the Armed Forces for the defence of the State.
(3) In case a Commander-in-Chief is nominated, the right to dispose of the Armed forces passes to him.
(4) For acts connected with his command the Commander-in-Chief is responsible to the President of the Republic as to the Supreme Head of the Armed Forces.

IX. The Administration of JusticeEdit

Art. 64.
(1) The courts administer justice in the name of the Polish Republic.
(2) By the administration of justice the courts safeguard the legal order of the State and shape respect for the law in the community.
(3) The judges are independent in the discharge of their judicial duties.
(4) The sentences of the courts may not be changed or annulled by other organs of authorities.
(5) The courts have no right to examine the validity of legislative acts, duly promulgated.
Art. 65.
(1) The judges are appointed by the President of the Republic, unless the laws provide otherwise.
(2) The organization of the courts, the independent status of the judges, their lights and duties and salaries shall be defined by laws.
Art. 66.
(1) A judge may be dismissed, suspended, transferred or pensioned off against his will only on the strength of a court decision and in cases prescribed by law.
(2) This principle does not apply, when the transfer of a judge or his pensioning off is caused by a change in the organization of the courts, decided by a legislative act.
Art. 67.
A judge may not be indicted on a criminal charge without the consent of the competent disciplinary court, or arrested without a warrant, unless he was apprehended in the very act of committing an offence.
Art. 68.
(1) No law can bar a citizen from seeking redress in the courts of justice for his injury or damages.
(2) Personal liberty, the inviolability of domicile and the secrecy of correspondence are hereby guaranteed.
(3) A law shall define under what conditions the search of a citizen's person or home may be executed or the secrecy of correspondence be infringed.
(4) No one can be deprived of the court of justice to which he is by law subject, nor punished for a deed not prohibited by law before it was committed, nor too, be detained without a judicial warrant longer than for the term of forty-eight hours.
(5) Extraordinary courts are permissible only in cases foreseen by law.
(6) Laws shall establish the principle that cases in which the penalty has been imposed by an administrative authority, shall on the demand of the defendant be referred to the jurisdiction of the courts.
Art. 69.
(1) The President of the Republic is empowered to grant a pardon by an act of mercy or to modify a punishment imposed by a final court decision and to annul the effects of a sentence.
(2) An amnesty requires a legislative act.
Art. 70.
(1) There are established:
(a) the Supreme Court for criminal and civil suits,
(b) the Supreme Administrative Tribunal for deciding the legality of administrative acts and,
(c) the Tribunal of Competence for the purpose of deciding disputes as to competence between the courts and other organs of authority.
(2) The separate organization of military courts, their competence and procedure, and the rights and duties of the members of these courts shall be defined by laws.
Art. 71.
(1) For the examination of arraignments of Ministers, senators and deputies impeached on the basis of their constitutional responsibility a Tribunal of State is convened, composed of the First President of the Supreme Court as the chairman, and of six judges.
(2) The judges of the Tribunal of State and their deputies are appointed for the period of three years by the President of the Republic from a panel of twice the number of judges from the general courts of justice selected in one-half by the Seym and one-half by the Senate, with equal consideration given to the candidates of each of the Legislative Chambers.

X. The State AdministrationEdit

Art. 72.
(1) The State administration is a public service.
(2) The State administration is executed by:
(a) the Government administration,
(b) the territorial self-government,
(c) the economic self-government.
Art. 73.
(1) For purposes of general administration the State shall be divided territorially into administrative areas, namely, into voivodships, counties and urban and rural communes.
(2) The division into voivodships requires a legislative act.
(3) Urban communes can under conditions defined by law constitute a county or city voivodship.
Art. 74.
The organization of general Government administration and particularly the competence of its organs shall be determined by a decree of the President of the Republic.
Art. 75.
(1) In accordance with the division of the State into administrative areas there are established, for purposes of State administration within the scope of local needs, voivodship, county and communal local-governments.
(2) The local-governments have the right, within the limits defined by law, to issue for their areas measures binding upon confirmation by the competent supervisory authority.
(3) For the execution of special tasks the territorial local-governments can be united in unions.
(4) The law can acknowledge such unions as public-legal entities.
(5) The supervision over the activity of local - governments is exercised by the Government through its organs or through the superior organs of local-government.
Art. 76.
(1) For particular fields of economic life there shall be established economic self-government consisting of Chambers of agriculture, commerce and industry, handicrafts, labour, free professions and other incorporated associations.
(2) By special laws those chambers can be joined in associations and acknowledged as legal entities.
(3) For the consideration of problems relating to the whole of economic life, for the expression of opinion on drafts of economic legislation and for harmonizing the activities in the particular branches of the national economy a Supreme Economic Chamber may be called into being by law.
(4) Supervision over the activities of economic self-government is exercised by the Government through its organs established for that purpose.

XI. The State ControlEdit

Art. 77.
(1) In order to control the financial activities of the State and of the public-juridical associations, to audit the balance-sheet of State accounts, to move yearly in the Diet the adoption of the auditors' report, the Supreme Board of Control is established; it is based on the principle of the collegiate system and of the independence of its members.
(2) The Supreme Board of Control is independent of the Government.
(3) The President of the Republic appoints and recalls the President of the Supreme Board of Control; on his motion aim with his countersignature the President of the Republic appoints and dismisses the members of its college.
(4) The President of the Supreme Board of Control is responsible for the discharge of his duties according to the principles laid down for the responsibility of Ministers.

XII. State of National EmergencyEdit

Art. 78.
(1) In case of an external menace to the State as also in case of internal disturbances or widespread conspiracy of a treasonable character menacing the order and safety of the State or the safety of its citizens — the Council of Ministers with the consent of the President of the Republic shall declare a state of emergency in the whole territory of the State or in the endangered part.
(2) Such measure shall be submitted to the Seym within seven days after its promulgation.
(3) If the Seym is dissolved the declaration of the state of emergency shall be presented to the newly elected Seym at its first session.
(4) The Seym may demand the annulment of the measure.
(5) Such a motion cannot be voted upon at the same session during which it was presented.
(6) If the Senate supports the decision of the Seym, the Government shall immediately annul the declaration.
(7) The declaration of a state of emergency empowers the Government for the period of this state to suspend civic liberties and to apply the special rights provided for by the State of Emergency Act.
Art. 79.
(1) In case the use of the Armed Forces becomes necessary for the defence of the State the President of the Republic shall declare a state of war in the whole territory or in a part of the State
(2) During a state of war the President of the Republic has the right, without the authorization of the Legislative Chambers, to issue decrees within the scope of State legislation excluding changes of the Constitution; to prolong the term of the Legislative Chambers till the conclusion of peace; to open, adjourn and close the session of the Seym and Senate on dates adapted to the needs of the defence of the State; as also, for the decision of matters falling under the competence of the Legislative Chambers, he has the right to summon the Seym and Senate as a reduced body, formed by these Chambers.
(3) During the duration of a state of war the Government enjoys rights provided for by the State of Emergency Act as also special rights determined by the the State of War Act.

XIII. Amendment of the ConstitutionEdit

Art. 80.
(1) An amendment of the Constitution can be carried out on the initiative:
(a) of the President of the Republic,
(b) of the Government or
(c) of one quarter of the statutory number of deputies.
(2) The motion made by the President of the Republic can be voted upon only in its entirety and without amendments or with amendments to which the Government, on behalf of the President of the Republic, agrees.
(3) A law amending the Constitution on the initiative of the President of the Republic requires concurrent decisions of the Seym and Senate passed by an ordinary majority vote; if on the initiative of the Government or the Seym — concurrent decisions passed by a majority of the statutory number of deputies and senators.
(4) The President of the Republic may within thirty days after having received the project of a law amending the Constitution refer it back to the Seym with the demand that it be reconsidered, which can take place not earlier than during the subsequent term.
(5) If the Legislative Chambers again pass the project without amendments, the President of the Republic shall after having confirmed the law with his signature promulgate it unless he dissolves the Seym and Senate.

XIV. Final ProvisionsEdit

Art. 81.
(1) The present Constitution Law enters into force on the day of its promulgation.
(2) At the same time, the Constitution Law of 17 March 1921 (Journal of Laws, No. 44, item 267) is repealed with the amendments introduced by the law of 2 August 1926 (Journal of Laws, No. 78, item 442) but with articles 99, 109–118 and 120 left in force.
(3) The Constitution Law of 15 July 1920, containing the statute of organization of the Voivodship of Silesia (Journal of Laws, No. 73 item 497, with amendments introduced by the Laws of 8 March 1921 (Journal of Laws, No. 69, item 146), of 30 July 1921 (Journal of Laws, No. 69, item 449), of 18 October 1921 (Journal of Laws, No. 85, item 608) and of 18 March 1925 (Journal of Laws, No. 36, item 240), remains in force with the provision that art. 44 of the Law of 15 July 1920 (Journal of Laws, No. 73, item 497) is given the following form: 'Amendments of this Act requires a State law' and that article 2 of the Law of 8 March 1921 (Journal of Laws, No. 26, item 146) is repealed.

AnnexeEdit

The articles of the Constitution of March 17, 1921, maintained in force by the Constitution of 1935, are the following.

Art. 99.

The Polish Republic regards all property, whether belonging personally to individual citizens or collectively to associations of citizens, institutions, self-governing bodies, or to the State itself, as one of the most important foundations of social organization and legal order, and it guarantees to all inhabitants, institutions and communities the protection of their property and shall only admit any limitation or abolition of individual or collective property, in cases provided for by law for reasons of higher utility and against compensation. Only an Act of law may decide within what limits and which property may be subject to the exclusive ownership of the State for reasons of common weal, and also how far the rights of citizens and their legally recognized associations freely to utilize land, water, minerals and other natural wealth may be limited for public reasons.

Land as one of the most important factors in the existence of the nation and of the State, may not be the object of unrestricted transfer. The law shall fix the limits within which the State shall be empowered to the compulsory buying out of land as also to regulate the transfer of land, but in accordance with the principle that the agricultural structure of the Republic of Poland shall be based upon agricultural holdings capable of satisfactory production and held as personal property.

Art. 109.

Every citizen shall have the right to preserve his nationality and to cultivate his language and national qualities.

Special State laws shall guarantee to minorities within the Polish State the full and free development of their national qualities with the assistance of autonomous minority associations of a public-juridical character within the limits of general self-government associations.

The State shall have the right of controlling their activities, and, in case of need, the duty of supplementing their financial means.

Art. 110.

Polish citizens belonging to national, confessional or lingual minorities shall have equal rights with other citizens to establish, supervise and administer at their own expense, philanthropic, confessional and social institutions, schools and other educational establishments, as also freely therein to use their language and to carry out the precepts of their religion.

Art. 111.

Freedom of conscience, and of religion shall be guaranteed to all citizens. No citizen shall by reason of his faith or his religious convictions be limited in his access to rights due to other citizens.

All the inhabitants of the Polish State shall have the right freely to profess their creed in public and in private and to practise the precepts of their religion or ritual, provided that this is not counter to public order or to public morality.

Art. 112.

Freedom of religion shall not be utilized in a manner counter to the law. No one shall evade performing his public duties by reason of his religious faith. No one shall be compelled to participate in religious activities or rituals, unless he is subject to parental or tutelary authority.

Art. 113.

Every confessional association recognized by the State shall have the right to hold collective and public religious services, independently to conduct its internal affairs, possess and acquire, administer and dispose of moveable and real estate, to hold and utilize its foundations and funds, as also its institutions set up for religious, scientific or philanthropical purposes. No religious association shall, however, remain in contradiction with the laws of the State.

Art. 114.

The Roman Catholic faith, being the religion of the great majority of the nation, occupies a leading position in the State among other religions which, however, enjoy equal rights.

The Roman Catholic Church is governed by its own laws. The relation of the State to the Church shall be determined on the basis of an agreement with the Holy See which shall be subject to ratification by the Seym.

Art. 115.

The Churches of religious minorities and of other religious associations recognized by law shall be governed by their own statutes, which the State shall not refuse to recognize, provided that they will not contain provisions contrary to law.

The relation of the State to these Churches shall be determined by legislation after an understanding has been attained with their legal representative bodies.

Art. 116.

The recognition of a new creed or of one hitherto not recognized by law shall not be refused to religious associations whose organization, teaching and structure are not counter to public order or public morality.

Art. 117.

Scientific research and the publication of the results thereof shall be freely permitted. Every citizen shall have the right to teach, to establish schools or other educational establishments and to administer them, provided he has fulfilled the conditions required by law in respect of qualifications of teachers, the security of children entrusted to him, and his loyal relation to the State.

All schools and educational establishments, both public and private, shall be subject to the supervision of the State authorities within the scope fixed by law.

Art. 118.

Instruction within the scope of primary schooling shall be obligatory for all citizens of the State. The duration, scope and the manner of such instruction shall be fixed by law.

Art. 120.

In every educational establishment maintained fully or in part by the State or by self-government bodies and whose syllabus embraces the education of persons under 18 years of age, instruction in religion shall be compulsory for all pupils. The management and supervision of such instruction in schools shall rest with the respective religious associations, with the reservation of the supreme right of supervision exercised by the State school-authorities.

 

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