A BILL AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND INTRODUCED BY THE DEPUTIES OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CLUB OF CIVIC PLATFORM (SEJM PAPER NO. 2989, THE SEJM OF 6 TERM) (Polish title below)
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(Polish title: Projekt ustawy o zmianie konstytucji RP poslow Klubu Parlamentarnego Platformy Obywatelskiej (druk nr 2989, Sejm VI kadencji)). The article deals with the proposal introduced by the Deputies of the Parliamentary Club of Civic Platform to amend Polish Constitution of 1997. The proposal is the most comprehensive one those introduced in the last 14 years of existence of the Constitution. The bill, submitted to the Sejm in February 2010, is - in a sense - a recapitulation of the public debate on amending the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. Even if not intended to provide a thorough review of constitutional foundations for the functioning of the state and to redefine the axiology of the constitution, the bill contains several substantial changes, which - according to their authors - would improve the operation of the legislative and executive branches of government. First, the author discusses the role of the procedure for amending the constitution in guaranteeing stability of the constitution. In this context, he examines the issue (tackled in the literature) of dysfunctionality of several provisions of the Constitution and regulatory deficiencies revealed during their application. He depicts successive proposals to amend the Constitution that have already been submitted to the Sejm, including, paying particular attention to their context and historical setting. He mostly focuses on changes in: membership of both chambers of parliament, the status of Member of Parliament, powers of the Sejm, procedure for the election and substitution of the President of the Republic and his powers. Additionally, the author examines the proposal for deconstitutionalisation of the National Security Council (President's advisory body on national defence) and the National Broadcasting Council (an authority responsible for safeguarding freedom of speech and public interest in the media), as well as the reasonableness of constitutional regulation of the status of prosecutor's office.. The bill in question, even if not free of flaws, receives generally positive appraisal from the author. An in-depth reflection is, however, needed on the working out of a consistent concept of distribution of tasks and powers among particular public authorities, as well as specifying the numbers of members of the Sejm and the Senate. A weakness of the bill, in the author's view, is that it does not contain any provision governing Poland's functioning within the structures of the European Union and any consequent conferment of powers on state authorities. The fate of this proposal remains unknown. However, it reveals a range of problems whose solution, in a normative sense, should be based on a public debate, parliamentary resolutions or, probably, decision taken by the sovereign.
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