What makes us trust the constitutional courts? A lesson to learn for Polish legislator

The constitutional judiciary was invented to guarantee the principle of the primacy of the constitution, in particular before the unrestrained actions of the legislator. They were entrusted with the responsible task of being the court of last resort, speaking out on matters of major importance to society. That requires peoples’ trust. In the paper we consider what factors may increase or weaken confidence of the society in the constitutional court. In doing so, we analyse elements such as the way in which judges are nominated and their independence from executive and legislative powers is guaranteed, individual access to constitutional justice, scope of judicial review, and the authority and enforcement of court rulings. We refer to the German and Spanish experience in order to confront them with the situation in Poland, where after radical reforms introduced by the governing majority one can observe a significant decrease of confidence in constitutional justice.