Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2010 | 3(98) | 41-59

Article title

THE PRICIPLE OF BINDING LIMITS OF APPLICATION IN THE JURISPRUDENCE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL TRIBUNAL (Zasada zwiazania granicami wniosku w orzecznictwie Trybunalu Konstytucyjnego)

Title variants

Languages of publication



While adjudicating, the Constitutional Tribunal is bound by the limits of the application, question of law or complaint. This principle, together with the principle of accusatorial procedure, determines the extent of the cognizance of the Constitutional Tribunal. The jurisprudence of the Tribunal shows that it is relatively free in interpreting 'the limits of the application'. Sometimes the Tribunal goes beyond the claim of the applicant (ne ultra petitum), or discontinues the proceedings in relation to part of the claim specified in 'petitum', even if the conditions for this (the pronouncement of a judicial decision is inadmissible or the normative act has ceased to have effect) have not been met. The extension of the limits of application beyond that specified in 'petitum' is reflected by the recognition by the Tribunal of the 'falsa demonstratio non nocet principle' and by the ex officio review of the provision specified in the application from the formal-legal point of view. The review of legality of part of the claim specified in the application takes place when the Tribunal has discontinued the proceedings due to uselessness of the pronouncement of a judicial decision where it held that the subject of the claim does not conform with one of several indicated patterns of review. In such event, the Tribunal's proceedings relate to the conformity of the provision under review with the other patterns indicated in the application. This article presents most important decisions of the Constitutional Tribunal concerning the interpretation of the principle of that the Tribunal is bound by the limits of the application. The examples of the use of systematic and functional interpretation of the above-mentioned principle have no distinct normative basis in Poland's Constitution or the Constitutional Tribunal Act and result from the judicial practice of the Tribunal. As concerns each element of the principle of binding limits of adjudication as described in this article, a relatively established line of Tribunal's jurisprudence may be noticed. Moreover, in principal reasons for its rulings the Tribunal usually presents arguments for extension or limitation of the scope of adjudicated matter in relation to the claim specified in 'petitum' of the application. The to date interpretation of the above-mentioned principle does not threaten the principle of accusatorial procedure before the Constitutional Tribunal. Some doubts may, however, be raised about Tribunal's discretion in the application of the described rules enabling limitation or extension of the scope of review in particular cases.





Physical description

Document type



  • Aleksandra Kustra, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika w Toruniu, ul. Gagarina 15, 87-100 Torun, Poland


Document Type

Publication order reference


CEJSH db identifier

YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.