JURISPRUDENCE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL TRIBUNAL ON THE INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND OF THE 2ND APRIL 1997 (Wstep do Konstytucji z 2 kwietnia 1997 r. w orzecznictwie Trybunalu Konstytucyjnego)
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The Constitutional Tribunal invokes the Introduction to the Constitution both on its own initiative and when the entities initiating proceedings before the Tribunal indicate it (i.e. the Introduction) as a basis for review of the constitutionality of the challenged provisions. Under the established practice, the Constitutional Tribunal has most often invoked those phrases of the Introduction of the Constitution which deal with: the principle of subsidiarity, the obligation of solidarity with others, experiences of the times when fundamental freedoms and human rights were violated in our Homeland, cooperation between the public powers, social dialogue, diligence and efficiency in the work of public bodies, the inherent dignity of the person, cooperation with all countries for the good of the Human Family, as well as universal values, such as truth and justice. The jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal does not give an unequivocal assessment of the Introduction to the Constitution. On the one hand, the Tribunal holds that one may not derive any legal norms stricto sensu on the basis of the text of the Introduction. On the other hand, it refers to the preamble in the operative part of its judgments. The analysis of Tribunal's jurisprudence allows us to say that the Tribunal acknowledges as legal norms of their elements at least two phrases of the preamble - 'to ensure diligence and efficiency in the work of public bodies' and 'cooperation between the public powers, social dialogue as well as on the principle of subsidiarity'. The Constitutional Tribunal most often invokes the Introduction to the Constitution when justifying particular interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, of the challenged provisions or the interpretation of the decision itself. Such use of the preamble to the Constitution raises no controversy and fully corresponds to the function attributed to preambles of normative acts as texts specifying axiologic foundations of legal regulations.
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