Dobrochna Minich, Problems of interpretation of law in accordance with the Constitution – Polish construction in historical and comparative aspects, Studia Politologiczne vol. 52

In the light of art. 188 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland The Constitutional Court adjudicates on the compliance of laws and other normative acts with the Constitution. The interpretation of law in accordance with the Constitution has been a key issue since the beginning of the jurisprudential activity of Polish Constitutional Court and it is a term that is part of the legal language. According to Andrzej Bator and Artur Kozak, the Constitutional Court and other law enforcement bodies do not have the competence – defined in a legal act – to interpret acts of law »in accordance with the Constitution«. However, it is difficult to imagine that it would be possible to assess the conformity of legal norms without establishing their content, and thus without interpreting them. Since the Constitution in the above-mentioned provision speaks of adjudicating on the compliance of laws and other acts with the Constitution, how can this be done without prior interpretation of the template and without understanding the object of the control? The interpretation of law amounts to reconstructing the norms from the laws and legal acts and determining their significance. The result of these interpretations is part of this control, and such a position was adopted by the Constitutional Court. In one of its judgments, it stated that the subject of control is a legal norm, the content and meaning of which has been reconstructed and established through the application of appropriate interpretative and inferential rules. Among several possible meanings of the provision established through the rules of interpretation, a normative sense should always be sought, which allows for a law to be agreed with the constitution [systemic aspect of interpretation]. Such a position is in full harmony with the presumption of conformity of the statutory norm with the Constitution, universally accepted in constitutional caselaw. The Constitutional Court appealed in its ruling to the inference of the norms, but it did not specify their nature or their relation to other methods of interpretation, so it can be supposed that it assumed inference rules based on some norms resulting from other norms, as well as those “resulting” from axiological assumptions.

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