CHANGES OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE SEJM IN 2007-2009 (Zmiany regulaminu Sejmu w latach 2007-2009)
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The rules of procedure (Standing Orders of the Sejm), as a basic normative act governing the organization and procedure of the chamber, formally remains in force since 1992. Subsequent amendments of this act were aimed at its adjustment to modified constitutional provisions and attempted to rationalize the work of the chamber. As a result of several dozen of amendments, the text of the document has lost its consistency. The article discusses four amendments of the rules of procedure made in the first half of the 6th term of the Sejm elected in 2007. The first two amendments have brought a correction to the list of permanent committees and to the procedure applied by the chamber for appointment to certain state positions. Considerable changes in organization and procedure of work of the Sejm were made by 2008 and 2009 amendments. Both of them were mostly aimed to put things in order. They reflected frequent suggestions from legal scholars The amendment of 19 December 2008 has introduced several modifications concerning the first sitting of the chamber, internal organization and procedure of the chamber, as well as the scope of responsibilities of Sejm committees Two weeks later, the amendment of 9 January 2009 was focused on changes relating to the functioning of the Special Services Committee. It is too early now to comment upon the amendments and their consequences for the practice of parliament. The author provides an analysis of the amendments in the context of their content and the procedure used by the Sejm in relation to the form of making changes in the rules of procedure. He identifies emerging opportunities and potential threats in the functioning of parliament. He also recommends that the Sejm initiates the work to draft and adopt its new and comprehensive rules of procedure.
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