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THE POLISH CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AFTER THE LISBON TREATY: THE LEGAL NATURE AND BINDING LIMITS (Polska Karta Praw Podstawowych po Traktacie lizbonskim. Charakter prawny i granice zwiazania)

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The Lisbon Treaty fundamentally changes the legal basis of the European Union. The areas of regulation subject to modification include the normative foundations of the protection of fundamental rights in the EU. The article attempts to answer the question concerning the legal nature and the limits of the revised Charter of Fundamental Rights which are binding on Poland. Despite an enthusiastic support of the Charter by part of legal scholars, the role of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the domestic legal order in rather ambiguous. In Lisbon, the authors of the Treaty have departed from formal way of proceeding. As a result - regardless of their political will - the adopted phrase of 'the same legal value as the Treaties' will not have any effect in Polish domestic law, where it functions as a non-binding act of the European Parliament, Council and Commission. Legal effect of an international act in the national legal system is hinged on the constitutional procedure of its adoption, and not on the political message. However, the rank of the Charter within the system of the EU law obviously rose. In fact, this will affect granting Treaty guarantees to its provisions. From this point of view, a new legal hybrid will appear, an act which, formally, is not a piece of primary law (as it is not ratified), but which has the status (enjoys the protection) prescribed for such acts. Some systemic consequences of this experiment, (e.g. the effect of the principle of primacy of EU law) may, however, have negative systemic consequences. The Charter will not be included, for procedural reasons, in the constitutional list of the sources of law and, therefore, there will be a collision between them and the norms of the national law. In this respect, a moderating role will be played by the Polish-UK Protocol which, according to Article. 49 b shall form an integral part of the Treaties. From the point of view of legal science, the meaning of the new Charter of Fundamental Rights is reduced, practically, to one aspect — inserting its content to the Lisbon Treaty opens a new phase in the evolution of the fundamental rights in the EU. To date, they were founded on the basis of the: European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and constitutional order of Member States. So far, the Charter has only reflected and expressed the fundamental rights specified within these two areas. The Lisbon Treaty grants it a status equal with them. .
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  • Mariusz Muszynski, Uniwersytet Kardynala Stefana Wyszynskiego w Warszawie, Wydzial Prawa i Administracji, ul. Wojcickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warszawa, Poland
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