STATISTICAL QUANTITIES IN THE SYSTEM OF LAW ESTABLISHED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF 1997 (Wielkosci statystyczne w systemie prawa okreslonym przez Konstytucje z 1997 r.)
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In Poland, under the Constitution of 1997, a new approach to the system of legal sources was applied. Its respective provisions have arisen mostly in response to the proposals put forward by the jurisprudence and legal scholars to limit the discretion exercised by the executive in determining the legal situation of the individual. Nowadays, in various normative acts, lawmakers more often refer to statistical quantities. Generally, this is the result of searching for objectivised principles for conduct of public authorities. The author discusses theoretical and practical consequences of the legislator's reference to such type of statistical quantities. He directs his efforts at establishing the criteria of assessment of the conformity of such practice with the constitution, and revealing the threats resulting from such practice. Moreover, he points out the need for an adequately detailed definition of the power of an executive body to properly determine a particular statistical quantity and properly connect this quantity with different legal norms. The author's theoretical investigations are based on the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal (examining the case on the application of the Human Rights Defender). The case concerns a provision of the Real Estate Management Act which requires the President of the Central Statistical Office to publicize real estate price indices. These indices are designed, inter alia, as a basis for indexation of benefits that may be provided by public authorities to citizens in relation to real property management. Despite the fact that the Act came into force in 1998, the said provision has not been implemented yet. Additionally, the Human Rights Defender contested technical feasibility of fulfilling such a statutory obligation. The author presents arguments against the Constitutional Court's decision finding no unconstitutionality of the challenged provision. He also raises doubts - in the context of the constitutional principle of legality - about the admissibility of the exercise of the obligation so defined, due to an excessive discretion given to the President of the Central Statistical Office on the basis of a generally formulated provision concerning competence.
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