Perspective on 25 years of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland – assumptions versus reality

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the current Constitution of the Republic of Poland. Over time it has been instrumental in the consolidation of democracy, giving priority to the principle of a democratic state under the rule of law and to integration with NATO and the European Union. However, the Constitution cannot be treated as an absolute guarantee of the existence of democracy. For it is not the constitution that governs, but the people who give the formal rules their real meaning and significance. Suffice it to mention the controversial reforms of the judiciary, especially the disciplinary responsibility of judges, as well as the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of 7 October 2021 (K 3/21) and doubts about the observance of human rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, one can observe a growing awareness of the importance and role of the constitution, and thus of civic control over the observance of the law.