Acta Universitatis Carolinae Iuridica (AUC Iuridica) is a legal journal published since 1955, which presents longer essays as well as short articles on topics relevant for legal theory and international, European and Czech law. It also publishes works concerning current legislative problems.

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AUC IURIDICA, Vol 64 No 4 (2018), 101–112

The application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU in Poland

Agnieszka Kastelik-Smaza

announced: 04. 01. 2019


The paper aims at summarizing the experience in application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU by Polish courts. From the perspective of the Polish Constitutional Court EU law, including the Charter, has a universally binding character on Poland and it has priority over national law with a statutory and subordinate status, but not over the Constitution. The scope of protection guaranteed by the Charter is generally consistent with that provided for in the Constitution. Due to the fact that Poland has acceded to the British and Polish Protocol, the binding force and scope of applicability of the Charter are the subject of controversy in doctrine and case law. Nevertheless, the Polish Constitutional Court as well as common and administrative courts generally do not question the validity of the Charter, referring in different ways to its provisions in their rulings. The Charter is generally applied not as the main basis for the ruling, but as an additional element justifying the position adopted on the basis of Polish law. The Polish Constitution and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms are more likely to be chosen by the parties and by the courts as sources of fundamental rights invoked in the proceedings than the Charter. References to the Charter either by parties to the proceedings or courts themselves are often inadequate due to the lack of fulfilment of the conditions specified in Article 51 (1) of the Charter. In several cases invoking the provisions of the Charter outside the scope of application of EU law led to inadmissibility of preliminary references based on the Charter addressed to the CJEU by Polish courts.

keywords: Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU; Poland; constitution; constitutional court; preliminary references

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The application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU in Poland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

230 x 157 mm
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ISSN: 0323-0619
E-ISSN: 2336-6478