The Rule of Law and Political and Economic Transformation in Poland
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Publication date: 2017-06-30
GNPJE 2017;289(3):5-27
The aim of this paper is to shed new light on what the rule of law really means in Poland’s post-socialist transition. In the first part of the article, we focus on the interpretations of the rule of law principle and its relationship to the democratic principle of majority rule. We highlight two different interpretations of the rule of law that stem from the negative and positive concepts of freedom. In the second part, we look for the causes behind the rule of law crisis in Poland. Referring to the course of Poland’s political and economic transition, we refer to the disputes around the Balcerowicz Plan as well as the tendency to interpret the rule of law in light of the positive concept of freedom. We also mention the confrontational style of the political discourse and the process of “legislative inflation.” The paper attempts to defend the thesis that undermining the role of the Constitutional Tribunal in such circumstances is not the way to rectify faults in the social system, but it may deepen the “legislative inflation” process, turning Poland away from the path of reform and reconciliation.
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