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The prohibition of placing on the market of so-called legal highs in the light of the constitutional principle of legal certainty


Pawelec, Marcin



Subject and Keywords:

criminal law   constitutional law   theory of legislation   legal highs   new psychoactive substances


The article was created as a part of post-legislative studies on Polish legislation regulating the phenomenon of the so-called legal highs. The starting point for the research was author’s observation of social crisis atmosphere resulting from growing death numbers associated to consumption of legal highs. The response to this phenomenon was a rapid pace of adopting the first “legal highs act”. The hypothesis, stated in the course of the studies, assumed that the legislator may have acted according to the principle called “the end justifies the means”. In the article, the author analyzes compliance of one of the norms counteracting the consumption of legal highs with the constitutional principles of proper legislation. Namely, the provision subject to analysis is the prohibition of placing on the market new psychoactive substances (in this way products known more commonly as legal highs are defined in law). The author describes the dispute in doctrine and in case law regarding the interpretation of the concept of “placing on the market”. The author also presents the legal consequences of this dissonance from the perspective of the average citizen. Then the constitutional principle of legal certainty is clarified, which serves as a quality standard for assessment of the compliance of the analyzed provision with the Polish Constitution.

Place of publishing:



E-Wydawnictwo. Prawnicza i Ekonomiczna Biblioteka Cyfrowa. Wydział Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego


Górnicki, Leonard. Red.

Date issued:


Detailed Type:



ISSN 2450-3932




pol   eng

WUL Catalog:

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Is referenced by:



Folia Iuridica Wratislaviensis

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Rights holder:

Copyright by Wydział Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Location of original object:

Library of the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics

Autor opisu:

WR U/PAdjm   TK