Constitution (1997) (excerpts)

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND OF 2nd APRIL, 1997

As published in Dziennik Ustaw No. 78, item 483

(excerpts)

(...)

Chapter VIII

COURTS AND TRIBUNALS


Article 173
The courts and tribunals shall constitute a separate power and shall be independent of other branches of power.

Article 174
The courts and tribunals shall pronounce judgments in the name of the Republic of Poland.

COURTS

Article 175
1.    The administration of justice in the Republic of Poland shall be implemented by the Supreme Court, the common courts, administrative courts and military courts.
2.    Extraordinary courts or summary procedures may be established only during a time of war.

Article 176
1.    Court proceedings shall have at least two stages.
2.    The organizational structure and jurisdiction as well as procedure of the courts shall be specified by statute.

Article 177
The common courts shall implement the administration of justice concerning all matters save for those statutorily reserved to other courts.

Article 178
1.    Judges, within the exercise of their office, shall be independent and subject only to the Constitution and statutes.
2.    Judges shall be provided with appropriate conditions for work and granted remuneration consistent with the dignity of their office and the scope of their duties.
3.    A judge shall not belong to a political party, a trade union or perform public activities incompatible with the principles of independence of the courts and judges.

Article 179
Judges shall be appointed for an indefinite period by the President of the Republic on the motion of the National Council of the Judiciary.

Article 180
1.    Judges shall not be removable.
2.    Recall of a judge from office, suspension from office, transfer to another bench or position against his will, may only occur by virtue of a court judgment and only in those instances prescribed in statute.
3.    A judge may be retired as a result of illness or infirmity which prevents him discharging the duties of his office. The procedure for doing so, as well as for appealing against such decision, shall be specified by statute.
4.    A statute shall establish an age limit beyond which a judge shall proceed to retirement.
5.    Where there has been a reorganization of the court system or changes to the boundaries of court districts, a judge may be allocated to another court or retired with maintenance of his full remuneration.

Article 181
A judge shall not, without prior consent granted by a court specified by statute, be held criminally responsible nor deprived of liberty. A judge shall be neither detained nor arrested, except for cases when he has been apprehended in the commission of an offence and in which his detention is necessary for securing the proper course of proceedings. The president of the competent local court shall be forthwith notified of any such detention and may order an immediate release of the person detained.

Article 182
A statute shall specify the scope of participation by the citizenry in the administration of justice.

Article 183
1.    The Supreme Court shall exercise supervision over common and military courts regarding judgments.
2.    The Supreme Court shall also perform other activities specified in the Constitution and statutes.
3.    The First President of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President of the Republic for a 6-year term of office from amongst candidates proposed by the General Assembly of the Judges of the Supreme Court.

Article 184
The Supreme Administrative Court and other administrative courts shall exercise, to the extent specified by statute, control over the performance of public administration. Such control shall also extend to judgments on the conformity to statute of resolutions of organs of local government and normative acts of territorial organs of government administration.

Article 185
The President of the Supreme Administrative Court shall be appointed by the President of the Republic for a 6-year term of office from amongst candidates proposed by the General Assembly of the Judges of the Supreme Administrative Court.

Article 186

1.    The National Council of the Judiciary shall safeguard the independence of courts and judges.
2.    The National Council of the Judiciary may make application to the Constitutional Tribunal regarding the conformity to the Constitution of normative acts to the extent to which they relate to the independence of courts and judges.

Article 187
1.    The National Council of the Judiciary shall be composed as follows:
1.    the First President of the Supreme Court, the Minister of Justice, the President of the Supreme Administrative Court and an individual appointed by the President of the Republic;
2.    15 judges chosen from amongst the judges of the Supreme Court, common courts, administrative courts and military courts;
3.    4 members chosen by the Sejm from amongst its Deputies and 2 members chosen by the Senate from amongst its Senators.

2.    The National Council of the Judiciary shall choose, from amongst its members, a chairperson and two deputy chairpersons.
3.    The term of office of those chosen as members of the National Council of the Judiciary shall be 4 years.
4.    The organizational structure, the scope of activity and procedures for work of the National Council of the Judiciary, as well as the manner of choosing its members, shall be specified by statute.

(...)