The Assembly as an epiphany of constituent power

Democratic metaphysics presents the people as the ultimate source of legitimacy for constitutional order and “everyday” democratic policy. However, the democratic reality takes the form of the most indirect and limited manifestation of the democratic will of the people. The constitutional power of the people is subjugated not only by representative institutions/procedures, but also by delegating certain competences to bodies not accounted for directly by citizens (e.g. constitutional courts, supranational institutions). From such a perspective, the assembly conceived as a corporal and direct presence of citizens' will, becomes a place where democracy really happens. The assembly is an expression of subjects articulating their particular demands. Introduces the political dimension to the policy of the “constituted power”: disputes about specific rights or demands which are apart from the perception of the main actors of institutionalized and ritual formal democracy.

The lack of freedom of association in the constitutional Congress Poland

Polish elites at the first half of 19th century commonly presented the constitution of the Kingdom of Poland octroyed by Russian emperor-Polish king Alexander as the most liberal constitution of Europe directly after 1815. On the one hand, this was due to the relatively broad powers of parliament and the independence of the judiciary, on the other hand, the constitutional catalog of civil rights. Among them, however, was not mentioned freedoms of association and assembly. Meanwhile, due to the aggravating political situation in the Congress Poland, and the growing fear of Alexander under the influence of the revolutions in Europe, particularly activities of secret associations, caused the problem of the lack of freedom of association to become one of the key problems escalating the political conflict between the Polish liberal elite and the government of the Congress Poland. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the attitude of Polish liberals on the lack of freedom of association.

The right to assembly in Poland between 1920-1981 – legal provisions and administration practice. Few remarks on the usefulness of historical research for present-day constitutional law

The purpose of presentation is an attempt to answer the question fundamental for both legal historians and constitutionalists: should present research on concrete human right in concrete system take into account national/local traditions on the matter? The author tries to look closer at polish acts on the right to assembly enacted in Poland 1922/1932 as well as during the communist era in 1962. The main task is to analyze the texts but also its practical application. The author will present results of archival searches on files revealing the process of organization of assemblies, gaining permission, scope and supervision. He will especially make an attempt to assess the possible use of their results for a deeper understanding of contemporary law. Territorially, the research is devoted to smaller communities in Kujawy-Pomorze region (west-northern Poland) selected because of the high overall social culture, influence of German law and distance to the political center of the country.

Contemporary Issues of Freedom of Assembly in Hungary

In January 1989, well before the transition, the Hungarian Parliament adopted the Act on free assembly. This right became the symbol of transition; it provides the civil society have their voice. The presentation considers the role of freedom of assembly in the society in present days. It first gives an overview on the evaluation of the right; including the challenges of 2006 and the new law in 2018. Secondly, it evaluates the recent issues of the constitutional jurisprudence and analyse the difference between the old and the new laws. Lastly the presentation considers two questions: on the one hand if the legal background is sufficient for the civic sector to get involved in political processes, and on the other hand if freedom of assembly is used to channel the voice of non-public actors.

Freedom of assembly between rationing and expression: post-transformational law in Poland

Freedom of assembly, as belonging to a sphere of fundamental political rights and freedoms, creates the basis for the functioning of a democratic society. This era has begun for the Polish citizens in 1990, with establishing the new statute on the assembly. Nowadays, the given freedom of assembly is detailed in the provisions of ordinary laws, headed by the 2015 statute on assemblies. The provisions specify the scope of this right, especially the issues of both passive and active right to assembly (to attend and to organize). The legislator introduces the types of assemblies (assemblies, cyclical assemblies, spontaneous assemblies) and clarifies the specific requirements, regarding also the organization procedure. The aim of the paper is to indicate the basic mechanisms that determine the legal institution of assemblies in its evolution since 1990. We also hope to deliver some answers to the question about balance between rationing limits and a need of expression.