THE ACTIVITIES OF THE LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE FIRST NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND IN 1940-1942 (Dzialanosc Komisji Prawno-Konstytucyjnej przy I Radzie Narodowej RP w latach 194-1942)
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The outbreak of World War II and the loss of independence by Poland in 1939, put the supreme Polish state authorities in a peculiar situation. Some of them (the President of the Republic, Council of Ministers) continued their activity in the territories of the allied states, the fate of others was different, e.g. the dissolved chambers of parliament (Sejm and Senate) were replaced by a substitute of Polish parliament, called the National Council. During World War II, two National Councils existed (the first one in France and Great Britain in 1939-1942; the second in Great Britain in 1942-1945). Their organization and, particularly the functioning of its organs, greatly resembled that of the Sejm of the Second Republic. The article presents, on the example of the responsibilities of the Legal and Constitutional Committee of the first National Council, the scheme of functioning of a committee of the Polish quasi-parliament. The subject-matters of issues subject to the debate in that committee were also discussed. The committee itself was not only involved in current matters, including an attempt to address the responsibility of the pre-war authorities for a September campaign defeat or filling a vacancy in the National Council by a representative of the Ukrainian minority, but also in amendment of some legislative acts (e.g. the Act of 31 March 1938 on Deprivation of Citizenship.) and the review of the entire Polish legislation in order to eliminate legal norms violating the principles of the democratic state.
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