electoral law

  • Major Dilemmas and Increasing Dysfunctions of the Polish Local Government Model on the Basis of an Electoral Law and Metropolitan Act

    The right for electing the representatives of authority bodies is one of the fundamentals of democracy. This right entitles citizens for active public participation through expressing their support (votes) for candidates, which will respectively represent their voters in certain institutions. Polish electoral law, which regulates the local self–government elections is very controversial. The existing legal rules were changed many times since 2011. Among the subjects being discussed one can mention electoral campaigns, candidate registration rules and organization of elections. Frequent changes in the electoral law result in misunderstandings and unwillingness to participate in elections. Their effect is low voter turnout and a large number of invalid votes. To sum up considerations over a political model of large cities, it is worth to indicate that during the last 25 years of operation of Polish local government none of political models of big cities was adopted. 

  • Debating the Electoral Law in Poland

    The International Conference Challenges of Contemporary Electoral Law
    Toruń, (12 June, 2015), Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. 

  • The problem of low voting turnout in Polish democratic elections. The catalogue of changes in electoral law

  • Zmiana przepisów Kodeksu wyborczego przed wyborami samorządowymi 2018

    11 stycznia 2018 r. Sejm RP uchwalił ustawę wprowadzającą wiele zmian do Kodeksu wyborczego. Najważniejsze zmiany dotyczyły administracji wyborczej, komisji wyborczych oraz praw wyborczych. Artykuł analizuje szczegółowe konsekwencje polityczne najważniejszych z tych reform. Autor dowodzi, że część z tych zmian, w szczególności dotyczących struktury Państwowej Komisji Wyborczej i administracji wyborczej jako takiej, może doprowadzić do kryzysu organizacyjnego i politycznego podczas wyborów samorządowych w 2018 r. Nie oznacza to jednak, że zmiany w obszarze prawa wyborczego nie są konieczne. Modyfikacje są potrzebą, ale wcześniej powinny być bardzo dokładnie przemyślane. System wyborczy jest bowiem jednym z najbardziej podanych na manipulacje instrumentów politycznych. Tymczasem uczciwa rywalizacja partyjna wymaga, aby reguły wyborcze nie były zmieniane zbyt pochopnie i często, zwłaszcza bezpośrednio przed wyborami.

  • Current Amendments to Polish Electoral Law in the Light of European Standards

    In December 2017 and January 2018, the Sejm and Senate, thanks to the votes of the deputies of ruling party Law and Justice, passed hugely controversial law amending inter alia Polish Electoral Code. Its adoption was opposed by the parliamentary opposition, by the electoral administration bodies and by many experts, however unsuccessfully. The enactment of this law destabilises the electoral system without a clear or evident need and treats the electoral code as a political instrument. Secondly, it does not provide the sufficient time for adaptation (vacatio legis), which may jeopardise free and fair local elections and the stability of the political system. Thirdly, the bill contains numerous unclear provisions and is in many parts written in a careless and contradictory way. Such amendments do not correspond with the European standards, described in the Venice Commission’s Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters.

  • Electoral Issues as the Subject of Petitions Submitted to the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of the Eight Term

    Art. 63 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997 provides everyone with the right to submit petitions to state authorities. The procedure for considering petitions is specified by the Act on Petitions of 11 July 2014. According to the law, petitions can, in particular, take the form of a request to amend the law. The aim of the article is to focus on petitions concerning the amendment of electoral law against the background general information on the legal regulations in this regard. In the 8th term of office of the Sejm, which began on 12 November 2015, there were five petitions submitted to the parliament which concerned electoral issues. The petitioners proposed amendments in regard to the manner of electing senators to the Senate of the Republic of Poland and councilors in the communities of up to 100,000 residents, strengthening mechanisms that would counteract “electoral frauds”, electoral thresholds in the elections to the Sejm and mandatory voting.

  • The Selected Issues of the Establishment of the European Parliament as an Institution of the European Union and the Evolution of the Electoral Law Since its Inception Until Now

    It is without any doubt that one of the most important elements of every democratic political system is a Parliament, that is, a collective authority elected in direct elections, which is simultaneously an emanation of will of citizens as a sovereign. Over the years of the technological development of societies and evolution of the economic cooperation amongst states, its role and scope of responsibilities have gradually grown. The European Parliament is one of the key elements of the institutional system of the European Union, and thus, the only body, the composition of which is elected in direct election. This body, as a forum for universal representation by the elected deputies from the member states, brings together views and positions not only of the representatives but also of their electorate. The parliament is also an expression of the multinational EU community, its voice and its desire to have influence on the fate of the entire EU.
    This article presents the evolution of the European Parliament and of the election law concerning this body, since its formation as an institution of the European Union until now. The purpose of this article is to present changes which have taken place in the EU legislation in respect of the electoral law, on the basis of which members of the parliament are elected, since the formation of the EP. The main subject of this article covers following issues: how the evolution process of the parliament has looked like over the years, how its position in the institutional architecture of the EU has been evolving and how it has been endeavoured to harmonize electoral procedures to this body over the years. The article is about the evolutionary political position of the EP. The article focuses on selected aspects of unification of the electoral procedure for the election to the EP due to their path-breaking character and importance of the procedure being currently in force.

  • Evolution of the Senate institutions based on the Constitutional Act of March 17th 1921 and the Constitutional Act of April 23rd 1935

    In the article, the authors compare the institutions of the Senate of the Second Polish Republic on the basis of the Constitutional Act of March 17, 1921 and the Constitutional Act of April 23, 1935. In the first part, the article presents the the way of functioning and selecting the senators in accordance with the provisions of the Constitutional Act of March 17, 1921. The second part of the article is a description of the regulations contained in the constitutional Act of 23 April 1935, on the basis of which then Senate of the Republic of Poland functioned. At the end of this article, the authors indicate similarities, but above all differences, in the functioning of the first chamber of the parliament of the Second Polish Republic.


    This article presents a comparison of the principles of electoral law in the Polish People’s Republic and the Third Polish Republic: political deliberations pertaining to elections in a democratic system and an undemocratic (authoritarian) system. In theory, there were not major differences between the two. The paper does not analyse the very practice of elections.

  • Committing a Crime as a Reason to Limit the Ability to Perform Functions in Local Government Administration

    2018 local self-government elections in Poland were special ones. Brought to light mismatching of provisions of the Electoral Code and Act on Local Self-Government Employees and attempt to use it to obtain an advantage in fight for political power caused political emotions and legal controversies. The aim of this article is presents limits imposed by criminal law on right to be elected in this type of elections and more general, role of criminal law as a tool in politics. The article presents a problem of conflict of legal regulations regarding the right to be elected and perform a public function in a local self-government unit as a problem of conflict between will of voters and attitude of politicians to creation of law and aim they try to obtain.

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