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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND, 2 April 1997 (unofficial translation, excerpt)

Chapter I. THE REPUBLIC

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Article 12

The Republic of Poland shall ensure freedom for the creation and functioning of trades unions, socio-occupational organizations of farmers, societies, citizens' movements, other voluntary associations and foundations.

Article 13

Political parties and other organizations whose programmes are based upon totalitarian methods and the modes of activity of nazism, fascism and communism, as well as those whose programmes or activities sanction racial or national hatred, the application of violence for the purpose of obtaining power or to influence the State policy, or provide for the secrecy of their own structure or membership, shall be forbidden.

Article 14

The Republic of Poland shall ensure freedom of the press and other means of social communication.

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Chapter II. THE FREEDOMS, RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PERSONS AND CITIZENS GENERAL PRINCIPLES

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Article 31

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3. Any limitation upon the exercise of constitutional freedoms and rights may by imposed only by statute, and only when necessary in a democratic state for the protection of its security or public order, or to protect the natural environment, health or public morals, or the freedoms and rights of other persons. Such limitations shall not violate the essence of freedoms and rights.

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PERSONAL FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS

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Article 54

1. The freedom to express opinions, to acquire and to disseminate information shall be ensured to everyone.

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POLITICAL FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS

Article 57

The freedom of peaceful assembly and participation in such assemblies shall be ensured to everyone. Limitations upon such freedoms may be imposed by statute.

Article 58

1. The freedom of association shall be guaranteed to everyone.

2. Associations whose purposes or activities are contrary to the Constitution or statutes shall be prohibited. The courts shall adjudicate whether to permit an association to register or to prohibit an association from such activities.

3. Statutes shall specify types of associations requiring court registration, a procedure for such registration and the forms of supervision of such associations.

Article 59

1. The freedom of association in trades unions, socio-occupational organizations of farmers, and in employers’ organizations shall be ensured.

2. Trade unions and employers and their organizations shall have the right to bargain, particularly for the purpose of resolving collective disputes, and to conclude collective labour agreements and other arrangements.

3. Trade unions shall have the right to organize workers’ strikes or other forms of protest subject to limitations specified by statute. For protection of the public interest, statutes may limit or forbid the conduct of strikes by specified categories of employees or in specific fields.

4. The scope of freedom of association in trade unions and in employers’ organizations may only be subject to such statutory limitations as are permissible in accordance with international agreements to which the Republic of Poland is a party.

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Article 61

1. A citizen shall have the right to obtain information on the activities of organs of public authority as well as persons discharging public functions. Such right shall also include receipt of information on the activities of self-governing economic or professional organs and other persons or organizational units relating to the field in which they perform the duties of public authorities and manage communal assets or property of the State Treasury.

2. The right to obtain information shall ensure access to documents and entry to sittings of collective organs of public authority formed by universal elections, with the opportunity to make sound and visual recordings.

3. Limitations upon the rights referred to in paras. 1 and 2 above, may be imposed by statute solely to protect freedoms and rights of other persons and economic subjects, public order, security or important economic interests of the State.

4. The procedure for the provision of information, referred to in paras. 1 and 2 above shall be specified by statute, and regarding the Sejm and the Senate by their rules of procedure.

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Chapter III. SOURCES OF LAW

Article 87

1. The sources of universally binding law of the Republic of Poland shall be: the Constitution, statutes, ratified international agreements, and regulations.

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Article 91

1. After promulgation thereof in the Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland (Dziennik Ustaw), a ratified international agreement shall constitute part of the domestic legal order and shall be applied directly, unless its application depends on the enactment of a statute.

2. An international agreement ratified upon prior consent granted by statute shall have precedence over statutes if such an agreement cannot be reconciled with the provisions of such statutes.

3. If an agreement, ratified by the Republic of Poland, establishing an international organization so provides, the laws established by it shall be applied directly and have precedence in the event of a conflict of laws.

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