Subject and Keywords:
domestic law ; international obligation ; international law ; Polish legal system-reform of the Polish legal system after 1989 ; Polish Constitutional Court ; relations between Polish and international law ; international responsibility ; place of international obligations in the Polish legal order
The Polish State was restored in the aftermath of the First World War. International law had always played a crucial role in laying down the foundations of the Polish legal order, for not only Poland had to respect numerous obligations, both of a multilateral character (as part of the peace treaties) and bilateral ones. In the interwar period, then, the Polish courts adopted a rather friendly approach towards international law, although the lack of constitutional provisions on collisions was detrimental to the Polish position in the international plane. In the subsequent period (1945–1989), international law was only exceptionally referred to in the jurisprudence of the Polish courts and was proposed to be applicable ex proprio vigore when necessary. The reforms started in 1989 and the recognition of Poland as a democratic state governed by the rule of law implied the adoption of a more friendly approach by the Polish judicial institutions towards international law. The new Constitution created a new legal order stressing the State’s obligation to comply with its international obligations, including those stemming from the law of international organisations. Despite the few decisions by the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court on the relations between Polish domestic law and international law, these questions are not entirely free from controversy and it is the purpose of the present paper to clarify these issues.