election verification

  • Election Petitions in Poland: The Efficiency Analysis of the Institution

    The article concerns the analysis of procedures connected with election petitions in Poland on the basis of the constituencies under the jurisdiction of the District Court in Toruń. It should be mentioned, however, that research is currently being conducted in other courts, which even at the preliminary stage appears to corroborate the results of the analysis presented in the article. The research focuses on the guarantees of the efficiency of the electoral petition in Poland. The election petition is the most important instrument which is available to verify the validity of elections. The Constitution does not regulate this matter, entrusting the legislator with this task. The possibility of submitting an election petition implements the principle of the external judicial review of the progress of an election or referendum, which can be initiated upon the request of a legal entity entitled to submit the petition. Considering the role of the petition proceedings as well as the values which remain protected within the procedure of settlement, the legislator should demonstrate the utmost care to increase their efficiency. However, the regulations concerning election petitions are scattered around the whole Electoral Code. Furthermore, for an election petition to be justified, there must be a cause-effect link between the law violation and the results of an election, with the burden of proof placed on the petitioner. The overall result is that in judicial practice only in few cases have grievances in election petitions been considered justified.

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