Dr Paweł Skuczyński
University of Warsaw
English abstract: The paper aims to propose a social reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland as an alternative to liberal and republican interpretations. It was developed with the use of an interdisciplinary methodology, including the use of societal constitutionalism as its theoretical basis, as well as its formal-dogmatic justification and its characterisation in the perspective of the theory of law as relating to the social ontology expressed in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. A thesis is put forward that the social reading of the Constitution consists in recognizing some social entities as constitutional entities, next to individuals and the State. Consequently, the norms concerning them should be interpreted as obliging the state authorities to ensure their influence on public policies and the law-making, and to take into account the bottom-up creation of norms and broadly understood self-regulation. Four arguments for the social reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland are presented, which are based on: 1) the scope of the constitutional regulation (extensive regulation in Chapter 1 of social and public entities such as local and professional self-government bodies, trade unions, and employers’ organizations, civil society organisations, churches, and religious unions); 2) the way they are regulated (despite the identity of the designatum, regulating these entities alongside the concept of a sovereign nation and imposing certain obligations on the State authorities towards them); 3) the historical context of the making of the Polish Constitution (building the autonomy of society in relation to the state as a strategy of resistance from the 1970s); 4) the work on drafting the Polish Constitution (the gradual addition of provisions on social entities, often due to pressure exerted by, which was an expression of far-reaching self-constitutionalisation).
Keywords: societal constitutionalism, social ontology, constitutional values
Published: Number 1(30)/2022, pp. 100-112
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