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Encyclopedia > Constitution of the People's Republic of Poland

The Constitution of the People's Republic of Poland (also known as July Constitution or Constitution of 1952) was passed on 22 July 1952. Created by the Polish communists in the People's Republic of Poland, it superseded both the pre-war March Constitution and the post-war provisional Small Constitution of 1947 and was based on the 1936 Soviet Constitution (also known as Stalin Constitution). It legalized the communist legislature and practices as they had been introduced to Poland with PKWN in the wake of Red Army progress in 1944. With the revolutions of 1989 it was significantly amended between 1989 and 1992 (from 29 December 1989 it was known simply as the Constitution of Poland) and was superseded by the new Polish constitution on 2 April 1997. Polish communists can trace their origins to early 1900s and the works tor the first Polish Marxist, StanisÅ‚aw Brzozowki (1878-1911). ... The Peoples Republic of Poland or Polish Peoples Republic (Polish: Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, PRL) was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1989, during its period of rule by the Communist party, officially called the Polish United Workers Party (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, or PZPR). ... The Second Polish Republic adopted the March Constitution of Poland on March 17, 1921, after ousting the occupation of the German/ Prussian forces in the 1918 Greater Poland Uprising, and avoiding conquest by the Soviets in the 1920 Polish-Soviet War . ... The 1936 Soviet constitution, adopted on December 5, 1936, and also known as the Stalin constitution, redesigned the government of the Soviet Union. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვი&#4314... The PKWN Manifesto, issued on July 22, 1944 The Polish Committee of National Liberation (Polish Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego, PKWN) was a provisional Polish communist government that was created by the Soviet Union. ... The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (in Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya), the armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... The Eastern Bloc prior to the political upheavals of 1989. ... The Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997 was Polands first post-communist constitution. ...


The constitution was amended 24 times, with the most known amendment being that of 10 February 1976. This amendment declared that Poland was a socialist country, the PZPR party was the leading force in the building of socialism and Poland was an eternal friend of the Soviet Union. This amendment caused the protest resulting in the Letter of 59. Amendment may refer to: A change made to a law. ... The Polish United Workers Party (PUWP; in Polish, Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, PZPR), was the governing political party in communist-ruled Poland from its creation (through a fusion of the communist Polish Workers Party and the left wing of the Polish Socialist Party) in December 1948 until the regimes... Letter of 59 (also known as the Memorial of 59) was an open letter signed by 66 (at first, 59, hence the name) Polish intellectuals who protested against the changes of the Constitution of the Peoples Republic of Poland. ...


The constitution broke the tradition of separation of powers, and instead introduced the Soviet practice of dictatorship of the proletariat. Thus the legislative branch of the government - (Polish parliament, the Sejm) was to have the highest power as per the 'will of the people', and it would oversee the judiciary and executive branch of the government. The separation of powers (or trias politica, a term coined by French political Enlightenment thinker Montesquieu) is a model for the governance of democratic states. ... The dictatorship of the proletariat is a term employed by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program that refers to a transition period between capitalist and communist society in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. The term refers to a... States currently utilizing parliamentary systems are denoted in red and orange—the former being constitutional monarchies where authority is vested in a parliament, and the latter being parliamentary republics whose parliaments are effectively supreme over a separate head of state. ... The Sejm building in Warsaw. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      In law, the judiciary or judicature is the system of courts which administer justice in the name of the sovereign or state, a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. ... The executive is the branch of a government charged with implementing, or executing, the law and running the day-to-day affairs of the government or state. ...

Contents

Sejm

For more details on this topic, see Sejm.
Sejm hall. See: 360° Panoramic View.
Sejm hall. See: 360° Panoramic View.

The Sejm of the People's Republic of Poland started with 425 members, and at first the number was declared to represent 1 deputy per 60,000 citizens. However, as the population grew in 1960, that connection was dropped from the constitution stabilizing the Sejm at 460 deputies. An article in the constitution stated that deputies were responsible to the people and could be recalled by the people, although this article was never used. Instead of the Five-point electoral law, a four-point version was used (not proportional). The Sejm building in Warsaw. ... Image File history File links Sejm_hall. ... Image File history File links Sejm_hall. ... The Sejm building in Warsaw. ... Five-point electoral law, of five-adjectives election, refers to the elections thet are: universal direct equal propotional anonymous (secret ballot) [1] Categories: | ...


Legislation was passed with majority voting. The Sejm would vote on the budget as well as on national plans. The Sejm deliberated in sessions, and the sessions were called by the State Council. Simple majority voting is a straightforward form of voting whereby the option with a simple majority of votes wins. ... Budget generally refers to a list of all planned expenses and revenues. ... This box:      A planned economy is an economic system in which a single agency makes all decisions about the production and allocation of goods and services. ... A meeting of the Council of State during the 1960s The Council of State of the Republic of Poland was introduced by the 1947s Small Constitution. ...


The Sejm would also choose a 'Prezydium' body from its members, with the marshal of the Sejm always being a member of the Zjednoczone Stronnictwo Ludowe party. During its first session the Sejm would also nominate the Prime Minister together with other ministers (Council of Ministers) and members of the State Council. The Sejm would also choose many other government officials, including the head of The Supreme Chamber of Control (Najwyższa Izba Kotroli, NIK), members of The State Tribunal (Trybunał Stanu) and Constitutional Tribunal (Trybunał Konstytucjny) as well as the Ombudsman (Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich) (the latter three institutions were created in the 1980s). Marszałek sejmu (Sejm Marshal, Marshal of the Sejm) is the title of the Speaker (chair) of Sejm the lower house of Polish parliament since the 15th century. ... Zjednoczone Stronnictwo Ludowe (United Peoples Party, abbr. ... This is a list of Prime Ministers of Poland. ... The Council of Ministers (cabinet), or Polish government, consists of ministers, heads of departments of ministerial rank, and heads of central institutions. ... The Supreme Chamber of Control (Polish: Najwyższa Izba Kontroli, short: NIK) is one of the oldest state institutions in Poland, created under the Second Republic on February 7, 1919, barely 3 months after the restoration of Polands independence. ... The State Tribunal of Poland is the judicial body, which rules on the constitutional liability of people holding the highest offices of state. ... The Constitutional Tribunal of Poland is a judicial body established to resolve disputes on the constitutionality of the activities of state institutions; its main task is to supervise the compliance of statutory law with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. ... Polish Ombudsman (Polish: Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich, often abbreviated RPO) is an independent central office of the Republic of Poland. ...


Note that the Senate of Poland was abolished by the Polish people's referendum, 1946 and the Sejm became the sole legislative body in Poland. The Polish Senate The Senate (Senat) is the upper house of the Polish parliament. ... Peoples referendum (referendum ludowe) of 1946, also know as 3 times YES (3 razy TAK) was a referendum held in Poland on 30 June 1946 on the authority of State National Council (Krajowa Rada Narodowa) (order of 27 April 1946). ...


Executive branch

Further information: State Council of Poland, Council of Ministers of Poland
A meeting of the Council of State during the 1960s
A meeting of the Council of State during the 1960s

Executive power was held by the Council of Ministers and State Council. The State Council was elected on the first session of the sejm for a four-year period, and could be composed of both deputies and non-deputies; they were usually chosen from the 'party key' (with party being the Polish United Workers' Party) although occasionally it contained non-party members. The council acted as the Head of State (in practice usually through the President of the State Council) and thus represented the People's Republic of Poland in foreign relations and the ratification of international treaties; the Council also had the vote in matters related to the military. It granted citizenship and could invoke pardon. The council had no legislative initiative, but could issue decrees. However, they had to be confirmed by the Sejm in its next session. The council also defined the judicial interpretation. A meeting of the Council of State during the 1960s The Council of State of the Republic of Poland was introduced by the 1947s Small Constitution. ... The Council of Ministers (cabinet), or Polish government, consists of ministers, heads of departments of ministerial rank, and heads of central institutions. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... The Polish United Workers Party (PUWP; in Polish, Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, PZPR), was the governing political party in communist_ruled Poland from its creation (through a fusion of the communist Polish Workers Party and the left wing of the Polish Socialist Party) in December 1948 until the regimes electoral... Queen Elizabeth II, is the Head of State of 16 countries including: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Jamaica, New Zealand and the Bahamas, as well as crown colonies and overseas territories of the United Kingdom. ... The term is used to describe the interaction taking place among governments, when striving to establish mutual contacts, another word for diplomacy. ... It has been suggested that Protocol (treaty) be merged into this article or section. ... Citizenship is membership in a political community (originally a city but now usually a country) and carries with it rights to political participation; a person having such membership is a citizen. ... A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime and the penalty associated with it. ... Decree is an order that has the force of law. ... Judicial interpretation is a theory or mode of thought that explains how the judiciary should interpret the law, particularly constitutional documents and legislation (see statutory interpretation). ...


Note that the State Council replaced the previous Polish head of the state, president of Poland (the last one being Bolesław Bierut). Following are the successive heads of state of Poland. ... Term of office from February 5, 1947 until November 21, 1952 Profession typesetter Political party communist Spouse Wanda Górska Date of birth April 18, 1892 Place of birth Rury Jezuickie near Lublin Date of death March 12, 1956 Place of death Moscow, Soviet Union BolesÅ‚aw Bierut (real name...


Judiciary

The Supreme Court was the overseer of all other courts, which were divided into regional, voivodeship and particular (administrative and military). In 1980, the Supreme Administrative Court was introduced, and in 1982, the The State Tribunal (which also existed in the Second Polish Republic), Constitutional Tribunal and the Ombudsman were introduced. The Supreme Court of Poland supervises the adjudication in: General courts - these are district, voivodeship, and appeal courts. ... A Voivodship (also voivodeship, Romanian: Voievodat, Polish: Województwo, Serbian: Vojvodstvo or Vojvodina) was a feudal state in medieval Romania, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Serbia (see Vojvodina), ruled by a Voivod (voivode). ... The Supreme Administrative Court of Poland (Polish: Naczelny Sąd Administracyjny) is the court of last resort in administrative cases i. ... The State Tribunal of Poland is the judicial body, which rules on the constitutional liability of people holding the highest offices of state. ... Second Polish Republic 1921-1939 The Second Polish Republic is an unofficial name applied to the Republic of Poland between World War I and World War II. When the borders of the state were fixed in 1921, it had an area of 388. ... The Constitutional Tribunal of Poland is a judicial body established to resolve disputes on the constitutionality of the activities of state institutions; its main task is to supervise the compliance of statutory law with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. ... Polish Ombudsman (Polish: Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich, often abbreviated RPO) is an independent central office of the Republic of Poland. ...


Amendments

During its 45 years of service, the Constitution of the People's Republic of Poland was subject to many changes, with its text amended 24 times.


The most known amendment was that of 10 February 1976. This amendment declared that Poland was a socialist country, the PZPR party was the leading force in the building of socialism and Poland was an eternal friend of the Soviet Union. This amendment caused the protest resulting in the Letter of 59. Amendment may refer to: A change made to a law. ... The Polish United Workers Party (PUWP; in Polish, Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, PZPR), was the governing political party in communist-ruled Poland from its creation (through a fusion of the communist Polish Workers Party and the left wing of the Polish Socialist Party) in December 1948 until the regimes... Letter of 59 (also known as the Memorial of 59) was an open letter signed by 66 (at first, 59, hence the name) Polish intellectuals who protested against the changes of the Constitution of the Peoples Republic of Poland. ...


Some of the biggest changes which took place with the beginning of the fall of communism in 1989 were: The rise of Gorbachev Although reform stalled between 1964–1982, the generational shift gave new momentum for reform. ...

  • In April 1989, the April amendment (nowela kwietniowa) was passed, restoring the Senate of Poland and the office of President of Poland. The first president of Poland since 1952 would be Lech Wałęsa, elected in 1990.
  • In December 1989, the Contract Sejm changed the name of the country (from People's Republic of Poland to Third Polish Republic) and removed the references to Poland being a socialist state.
  • On 17 October 1992, much of the constitution was replaced by the Small Constitution of 1992.

The Polish Senate The Senate (Senat) is the upper house of the Polish parliament. ... Following are the successive heads of state of Poland. ... Lech Wałęsa ( ; in English often ; born September 29, 1943, Popowo, Poland) is a Polish politician, a former trade union and human rights activist, and also a former electrician. ... Presidential elections were held in Poland on Sunday November 25 (1st round), and Sunday December 9, 1990 (2n round). ... Contract Sejm (Polish: ) is a term commonly applied to the Polish Parliament elected in the Polish parliamentary elections of 1989. ...

Importance

As in most other communist countries, the constitution was based on the 1936 Soviet Constitution (also known as Stalin Constitution) and thus served mostly as a propaganda tool, failing to regulate the main source of power - the communist party (Polish United Workers' Party in the case of Poland). See also the statute of the Polish United Workers' Party. The 1936 Soviet constitution, adopted on December 5, 1936, and also known as the Stalin constitution, redesigned the government of the Soviet Union. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვი&#4314... An Australian anti-conscription propaganda poster from World War One Propaganda is a type of message aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of people. ... In modern usage, a communist party is a political party which promotes communism, the sociopolitical ideology based on Marxism. ... The Polish United Workers Party (PUWP; in Polish, Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, PZPR), was the governing political party in communist_ruled Poland from its creation (through a fusion of the communist Polish Workers Party and the left wing of the Polish Socialist Party) in December 1948 until the regimes electoral... The Polish United Workers Party (PUWP; in Polish, Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, PZPR), was the governing political party in communist_ruled Poland from its creation (through a fusion of the communist Polish Workers Party and the left wing of the Polish Socialist Party) in December 1948 until the regimes electoral...


References

  • This article incorporates text translated from the corresponding Polish Wikipedia article as of 23 June 2006.

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Konstytucja Polskiej Rzeczypospolitej Ludowej

 
 

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