- Year of publication: 2015
- Source: Show
- Pages: 280-282
- DOI Address: -
While the Court has, to some degree, started to protect against discrimination based on birth or nationality, the protection against discrimination on the basis of race until 2005 has been very poor and dubious. Upon reviewing the case law of the ECHR, we find that since the case “Relating to certain aspects of the laws on the use of language in education in Belgium” v. Belgium in 1968, the Court has decided to opt in favor of the original English version of art. 14, which underscores that the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms must be assured “without discrimination” and defends the concept that equality should be interpreted as non-discrimination, while clarifying that this disposition does not prohibit preferential treatment, such that, in the eyes of the Court, this principle is only violated when preferential treatment implies “a discriminatory treatment”, so the task for us is to determine in detail when the two are correlated. The cited decision is an essential reference as it provides the pointers needed to discern whether or not a violation of art. 14 exists, as in a “test” of equality that entails: (1) whether the distinction in treatment lacks objective justification; (2) whether the difference in treatment results in conformity with the objective of the effects of the measure examined attendant to the principles that generally prevail in democratic societies; (3) whether there exists a reasonable relationship between the means used and the end sought. Despite this interpretational recognition of art. 14, if we analyze in detail the Court’s jurisprudence, how the Court has approached the topic of discrimination on the basis of racial or ethnic origin is somewhat disappointing. The fact that during decades plaintiffs were required to provide proof beyond the shadow of a doubt has restricted the Court’s influence on discriminatory actions based on race or ethnicity; for this reason, it is not unexpected that in time critical dissidence arose, even within the Court itself. A good example of this is given by Judge Bonello in the decision Anguelova vs Bulgaria (2002). Here we analyze how the jurisprudence of the Court of Strasbourg has evolved in the context of discrimination against Roma, so as to ascertain the challenges that remain in this area.
The Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997, similarly as constitutions of some other contemporary states, expresses a postulate of “good administration”. It can be perceived both in the preamble as in many detailed provisions of the fundamental act, regulating particular institutions related to the legal system. The article describes frames of organisation and functioning of good administration determined by the Constitution and adduces opinions of the doctrine on the subject of the notion and features of good administration. A carried out analysis leads to a conclusion that the Legislator expressed the postulate of good administration in a sufficiently unambiguous way, however an unambiguous constitutionalisation of the right to good administration is required.
In this paper, I’d like to provide an overview of the presidents of the Hungarian Royal Administrative Court (Magyar Királyi Közigazgatási Bíróság) which operated in Budapest between 1897 and 1949. I wish to present the legal status, the political and social prestige and the scholarly background of the presidents of that court. In the opening, however, I will outline the organisation, the scope of authority and the operation of the Administrative Court.
Poland is a country of the so-called “young democracy” type. As provided for in art. 2 of The Constitution of the Republic of Poland dated 2 April 1997, “The Republic of Poland is a democratic state of law, fulfilling the principles of social justice”. Art. 4 of The Constitution of the Republic of Poland gives superior authority to the Nation. This authority can be exercised “through representatives or directly”. But Poland does not have much experience with the institution of a people’s initiative, nor with other forms of direct democracy. The Polish national law provides for two types of people’s initiative. One type is a people’s initiative of putting a bill before the parliament as provided for in art. 118 subpar. 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and the Act dated 24 June 1999 on the use of a legislative initiative by citizens. The second type is a people’s initiative of putting forward a motion to hold a legislative referendum regulated by the Act dated 14 March 2003 on holding a national referendum. The legislature did not provide for, however, a people’s initiative for the purpose of amending the constitution or its abrogation. The subject of this paper is the institution of a people’s initiative of putting forward a motion to hold a legislative referendum.
This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the rules of appointment and removal of Hungarian judges with special focus on constitutional controversies that got a wide national and international publicity. Besides providing an overview of the relevant legal provisions, I shed light on the constitutional difficulties the 2011 judicial reform faced. The independence of the judicial branch and the individual judge as basic constitutional principles require that judges are selected under high professional standards following the most transparent and adequate procedural rules. The 2011 judicial reform in Hungary with the implementation of two cardinal acts on the judiciary certainly aimed to guarantee more professionalism. The question rather was if it could observe the existing independence at the same time? Some elements of the reform provoked reaction from both national and international fora arguing the violation of basic rule of law standards. The national and international, scholarly, political and also judicial pressure was followed by the partial consolidation of the original text of the cardinal acts.
The present analysis is devoted to the financial autonomy of communes and the ways of understanding it. The author analyzes the legal, jurisdictional and actual determinants of the commune’s financial independence and points to the consequences following from them. The author poses a hypothesis that the constitutional value in the form of the financial autonomy of communes is not full realized by the parliament in contemporary Poland, with the Constitutional Tribunal underestimating it. The increase in the revenues of communes is not adequate to the duties assigned to them by the parliament. The consequences of the ongoing process include an increased debt of the communes and their problems with realization of the needs of local communities, the latter being the goal whose realization was the reason to have established the local self-government.
Based on Hungarian period literature, the study presents the main features of 1920s Polish electoral law, while comparing it to the Hungarian electoral law of the same period. Those elements of Polish electoral law are highlighted that the interwar Hungarian literature covers. Likewise, the study outlines the two differing directions which – already apparent in the first decades following the world war – the development of Polish and Hungarian electoral law had taken, despite starting out on a similar footing in the wake of independent statehood. Before drawing conclusions – with a consideration of their impact on political life – the study touches upon, in both states, the structure of the legislature, the electoral system and the distribution of seats, the conditions of active and passive suffrage law and the questions surrounding the nomination process. While in Poland “politics was shaped by electoral law’s chronic state of crisis”, in Hungary the admittedly manipulated electoral law ensured governability.
The current political-military situation enforces verification of existing structural and procedural arrangements relating to the functioning of Polish defense system. According to a number of conceptual documents (including National Security Strategy of 2014) the system consists of two kinds of subsystems: the controlling and the executive. The latter kind of subsystems includes operational and supporting sorts. The Polish Armed Forces (PAF) are the key element of the national defence system and are subject to civilian supervision of the democratic authorities. With regard to this kind of supervision there are two primary (fundamental) notions that deserve particular attention: headship and control. Both forms of supervision are reserved for civilian authorities during peacetime, respectively for the President of Poland and the Minister of National Defence. During the war time, the Council of Ministers gains greater importance in controlling the state defence. In this context, the category that invariably remains in the PAF domain is command understood as a specific form of control. Noteworthy, however, is the fact that the war-time PAF command structure, considering existing legal regulations, does not seem fully optimized. Therefore the reform of PAF control and command system, initiated in 2014, requires continuation and completion.
From the perspective of the political party, defining the sources and funding models are very important issues. Defining the legal standards, which provide in particular the certain and secure political parties funding, in a right manner, enables to direct their main activity on the more substantive areas. The subject area of the sources and models of political parties funding causes a great deal of emotions and controversy, not only among the political class, but also among the representatives of the science world and scholars. While the issue concerning the scope and amount of the funds has been revived at almost every single local, parliamentary or presidential elections, the analysis of and debate on the systemic solutions have been continued permanently.
The article is devoted to the characteristics of the ‘hung parliament’ in the Westminster System and its influence on government formation. Some interesting aspects has been chosen to illustrate the problem of minority government existence in Great Britain. Author explains normative and non-normative systemic factors that influenced the formation of the government cabinets without a sufficient majority in the parliament. The main thesis is that creation of minority governments is closely associated with the evolution of the party system and can be a kind of political barometer that predict or confirm appropriate changes at the party scene.
The article is devoted to the constitutional protection of the environment in Poland. The analysis includes environmental protection as one of the tasks of the Republic of Poland, duty of public authorities, a condition limiting the rights and freedoms of man and citizen, as well as rights and obligations of the individual in the area of environmental protection, including right to be informed of the quality of the environment and its protection. According to the author the scope of constitutional protection of the environment is sufficient. However the Constitution of the Republic of Poland does not guarantee right of the individual to use unpolluted environment.
The aim of the article was to present the electoral strategy of the Freedom Union and The Democratic Party demokraci.pl. Strategies that were used during the parliamentary and the government elections were analyzed. In the first case a way of expressing major purposes that both the UW and the PD wanted to achieve by gaining parliamentary representation was discussed. In the second case the way of conducting self-government campaign, which was carried out usin slightly different electoral strategies was discussed. It involved the possibility of joining electoral coalition and gaining seats in local provinces, districts councils, municipal councils and offices of mayors and presidents of cities. The thing that was characteristic of the UW and the PD in the electoral strategies was inefficiency in terms of activities.
The Polish model of the executive power presupposes the existence of two pillars of the executive. The Council of Ministers is strong by the virtue of its constitutionally granted competences, whereas the strength of the President is in the direct universal election. This situation creates a zone of conflicts between the supreme organs of the state. The author presents contemporary model solutions of the system of goverment and on this background he argues for a change in the Polish Constitution and the introduction of the model solutions of the chancellor government.
This work is an attempt to determine the axiological basis for the constitutional system of the Republic of Poland. Summing up the findings concerning the fundamental values of the state political system underlying the solutions of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997, we can conclude that it should have the following attributes: to be the common good of all the citizens, a democratic state implementing the idea of the sovereignty of the Nation and civic society, a state that is ruled by law, independent and sovereign, secular, diligent and efficient, implementing the concept of separation of powers. The constitutional values referring to the status of “human and citizen” are: the dignity and freedom of the person, equality and solidarity of all persons, an individual’s personal, social and legal security and the protection of their freedoms and rights. In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the axiological foundation of the socio-economic system is social market economy based on three pillars: 1) freedom of economic activity, 2) private ownership, 3) solidarity, dialogue and cooperation of social partners. The list of these values should be complemented with the social values which determined the adoption of the concept of social market economy, social justice and social security of citizens.
The article refers to the problem of inadequacy of the classification of the constitution due to the mode amend them. The purpose of the analysis was to determine the scope of the diversity of procedures for the amendment of constitutions as well as to create a typology of such procedures, with consideration to their individual components, their functions and effects of their use. To this end, I conducted a review of applicable solutions in terms of grouping related institutions. Considerations begin with indication of systemic importance of amendment procedures, the reasons for the use of stringent solutions and low popularity of flexible acts. For this purpose, it was necessary to present the origin and foundations of the division into rigid and flexible constitutions. Two-step classification proposed by JB Bryce over 130 years ago is not applicable to modern constitutions. The new three-step classification takes into account hedging instruments, which are used in the constitutions created in the twentieth century. The analysis included the following stages of work on the revision modern European constitution. As a result, they managed to identify different types of instruments intended to ensure the functionality and stability of the political system. Because of its universal nature it can be applied to all of the constitution historical and current, regardless of the provisions made for their protection.
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