Zakaz wprowadzania „istotnych zmian” w prawie wyborczym w okresie poprzedzającym wybory – rozważania na tle orzecznictwa Trybunału Konstytucyjnego
Prohibition of introducing "significant changes" in the electoral law in the period preceding the elections - deliberations in the light of the Constitutional Tribunal's case-law
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The article concerns a completely new institution of the Polish political order, connected with the electoral law. It was introduced by a judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of November 3, 2006 (reference number K 31/06). This judgment introduced into the legal system an institution which could be called "legislative silence” and it provides that at least six months shall elapse between the change of the electoral law and the last day on which it is possible to order elections. The paper raises theoretical issues regarding the reliability of elections in the political system of a democratic state. It also analyses certain recommendations made by the Venice Commission concerning electoral law. In this regard, the article contains the discussion on the place of the soft law of the Council of Europe in the Polish constitutional order. The other part of the study focuses on the jurisprudence of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal in relation to the issue of admissibility of changes in the electoral law. The role of the prohibition of amending electoral law six months prior to the elections is discussed from a democratic state point of view. The article also describes the practical aspects of the implementation of the prohibition in question. It concerns in particular the temporal issues and indicates the substance of the prohibition on amending the electoral law. The study is, on the one hand, an attempt to describe the institution introduced into the legal order by the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal and, on the other hand, it illustrates the complexity of the electoral system and the Court's interference in it.
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