2010 | 2(97) | 9-28
Article title

CONSTITUTIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE CONTEXT OF THE PRINCIPLE OF REPRESSIVE PROVISIONS (Odpowiedzialnosc konstytucyjna w swietle zasady okreslonosci przepisów represyjnych)

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The article examines the provisions concerning constitutional accountability (Article 198 para. 1, Article 145 para. 1 and Article 156 para. 1 of the Constitution) in the context of the principle of specific nature of a prohibited act. From the constitutional principle of 'nullum crimen sine lege' (Article 42 para. 1 of the Constitution) stems, inter alia, the requirement for precise and explicit statutory definition of material elements of a prohibited act, which prevents repressive provisions of a blanket nature from being enacted The requirement for sufficient specificity of the features of a prohibited act covers all forms of repressive responsibility, including constitutional accountability. The fact that the constitutional legislator has given the regulations establishing constitutional accountability the form of blanket provisions may raise doubts whether the specificity requirement has been thereby met. The article provides arguments that seem to support the use a blanket provision in this case. The author points out that, in view of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal, the principle of specificity is not absolute. At the same time, in the context of disciplinary responsibility which is similar to constitutional accountability, the constitutional court permits the application of blanket regulations. A similar structure is applicable to criminal liability for abuse of powers of authority (Article 231 §1 of the Penal Code). The author believes that only such approach to liability may guarantee full protection of the principle of legalism in the functioning of the supreme organs of the state. He also draws attention to the fact that regimes of liability stricter than those applied to regular citizens are allowed in relation to persons holding public functions.
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  • Zbigniew Gromek, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Wydzial Prawa i Administracji, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland
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