Constitutional Tribunal

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CONSTITUTIONAL TRIBUNAL – constitutional court; a separate judicial body, independent of other authorities, established to control the constitutionality of legal acts, statutes and international agreements and other normative acts. In common law model, the judicial control of constitutionality is performer by common courts. In European model, this control is performed by courts or tribunals established particurarly for this reason. Within this model, three types of courts can be distinguished: 1. French (abstract) – only selected bodies and possibly the group of deputies have the right to file a motion for abstract control of constitutionality that is not related to a particular case, the citizens are excluded from the group of applicants; 2. German (specific) – selected entities, including citizens, may apply for examination of the constitutionality of the act under which the court has made a decision; the courts can also refer to the CT in the form of a question for a preliminary ruling; 3. Italian (intermediate type) – combines both previously described models. In a case of specific control, the declaration of constitutionality applies in a given case. In a case of abstract control, the unconstitutional legal norm is removed from the legal system. In Poland, the Constitutional Tribunal was established in 1982, and its jurisprudence activities began in 1986. The Constitutional Tribunal also decides on constitutional complaints, the constitutionality of political parties’ goals and activities, it settles competence disputes among central authorities of the state, decides whether there is a temporary obstacle to the fulfilment of the duties of the President of the Republic of Poland. The CT judges are independent and subjects only to the Constitution. The Tribunal’s judgments are final [ M. Kaczorowska ].

Literature: Z. Czeszejko-Sochacki, Sądownictwo konstytucyjne w Polsce na tle porównawczym [Constitutional judiciary in Poland against a comparative background], Trybunał Konstytucyjny, Studia i Materiały, vol. 18, Warszawa 2003 ■ S. Grabowska, Sądy konstytucyjne w wybranych państwach europejskich [Constitutional courts in selected European countries], Rzeszów 2008 ■ Sądy konstytucyjne w Europie [Constitutional courts in Europe], ed. J. Trzciński, vol. I-IV, Warszawa 1996–2000.