Independence of local government is often pointed out in the literature and jurisprudence as one of the most recognized attribute of local government and which deserves particular protection. This article presents the evolution of this idea, constitutionally approved in 1997. Among basic types of independence: systemic, material and financial, the last one is particularly well examined and interpreted, other types are less developed in the literature and jurisprudence. The article shows this disproportion on the example of systemic (political) independence. The authoress attempts to show the foundations and systemic reasons for the existence of local government. She points out the role played in this process by the Constitution Tribunal. While the formal independence of local government is consistently defended (the requirement of statutory procedure for any interference in its independence is not questioned), its material independence may be easily limited where the legislator can credibly justify that other constitutional goals and values deserving protection have been given priority. It might be noticed that the scope of independence of local government has been gradually reduced in defiance of the constitutional requirement of permanent increase in decentralization. The authoress concludes that a more comprehensive understanding of independence may result from a new interpretation of the notion of subsidiarity which, together with decentralization, provides a foundation of independence.
I. Lipowicz, Uniwersytet Kardynala Stefana Wyszynskiego, Wydzial Prawa i Administracji, ul. K. Wóycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warszawa, Poland
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