EQUALITY OF RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS IN POLISH LAW
The aim of the paper is to show constitutionalization of the principle of equality of religious denominations in Polish law of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries, to examine the degree of realization of this norm in contemporary Polish law and to present the evolution of interpretation of this principle in the Polish doctrine of law since 1918. In his paper the author mostly uses a formal and dogmatic method together with a legal and comparative method. He also, to a limited extent, makes use of a historical and legal method. As a result of the conducted research the author concludes that the principle of equality of religious denominations has been directly expressed in the Polish legal system since 1989. In 1997 it also gained a status of the constitutional norm. Functionality of constitutional and legislative norms regulating the equality of religious denominations is limited. This principle, however, is not ignored by the legislator and influences legal regulations concerning the traditional or the largest non-Roman Catholic Christian churches. The contemporary Polish law reflects opposing tendencies in this respect. The legislative tendency whose aim is to provide all religious denominations with the same rights overweighs the trend leading to giving privileges to some of them. The reality of religious relationships in Poland is in accordance with the standards of interpretation of equality of religious denominations functioning in secular European democratic countries.
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