prawa obywatelskie

  • Comments on the Issue of the Institution of a Nationwide Referendum in Poland: The Case of the Referendum of 6 September 2015

    Author: Joanna Marszałek-Kawa
    Institution: Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
    Year of publication: 2017
    Source: Show
    Pages: 54-74
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/athena.2017.56.04
    PDF: apsp/56/apsp5604.pdf

    Polish politicians of different political options, especially while proposing new reforms, declare that citizens should have a say in many issues under discussion. In reality, however, instruments of direct democracy stipulated by the Polish constitution (The Constitution of the Republic of Poland, 1997) and laws are not frequently applied (see: people’s initiative, social consultations), both due to Polish people’s low degree of public activity and because of the lack of parliamentary customs and the authorities’ accompanying lack of willingness to work out new solutions by way of serious debate and considering the society’s ambitions and expectations, also those representing positions others than those of the government majority.
    The aim of this paper is to discuss the institution of a referendum in Poland and to present the approach of the Polish political class to the institution of a nationwide referendum using the example of the referendum of 6 September 2015. We also discuss the history of this institution in Poland and address the issue of its legal foundations, as well as present arguments of the followers and opponents of this form of direct democracy. It is also necessary to analyse the motives behind the initiating entity’s decision concerning the organisation of a nationwide referendum from a broader perspective and to evaluate its implications in the sphere of politics.

  • Constitutional Right of Citizens to Know about the Activities of Public Authorities from the Perspective of Selected Aspects of the Protection of Classified Information

    Author: Robert Zapart
    E-mail: robert.zapart@onet.poczta.pl
    Institution: University of Rzeszów
    ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3590-1189
    Year of publication: 2020
    Source: Show
    Pages: 633-642
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppk.2020.06.52
    PDF: ppk/58/ppk5852.pdf

    The implementation of the constitutional right of citizens to obtain information about the activities of state authorities, in particular, in the sphere of state security, causes many problems resulting from the application of the Act on the Protection of Classified Information. The measures adopted in the Act, promoting the rights of the community at the expense of the rights of individuals, pose a risk of its instrumental use for political purposes. The reduction of the above-mentioned risk may be supported by a minor correction of the regulations in force, as postulated by the author of the article, which includes an increase in external supervision over the marking of materials containing information intended for protection, which does not undermine the grounds for restricting the transparency of public activities, permitted by the international law and by the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, and required from the perspective of public safety. The conclusion is that it is difficult to be optimistic about this area due to the observed reluctance of the ruling elites to voluntarily abandon the tools that give them an advantage in public communication.

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