In 1989, Poland decided to transform her constitutional system into a liberal democracy. The Round Table was organised to provide a dialogical way of that democratic transformation. Dialogue and compromise to achieve consensus were used to enact the new Polish Constitution in 1997. However, in 2015 those who criticised a value of a dialogue won the election and started illiberal remodelling based on populistic ideas of exclusion and anti-pluralism. Since then, the ruling majority has effectively excluded parliamentary opposition from dialogue within the legislative process. They excluded a dialogue from the repertoire of the constitution-making process. Thus, a question arises why dialogue is not prised since 2015? In the view of the paper’s author, a dialogue is not an essential value for Poles who prise more instant and arbitrary decisions than the time-consuming process of exchanging ideas and making compromises to achieve consensus in their everyday life.
The panellist would like to propose a comparative excursion into the past, to the origins of modern constitutionalism. We associate them with the revolutions in the British colonies and France, but this perspective somewhat neglects other systemic processes of the era. Constitutions as a new systemic tool were greeted with great hopes. The Polish Constitution of 1791, for example, was supposed to 'save the homeland' and 'consolidate freedom' in the face of the Russian threat. Less attention was paid to its very interesting normative layer – after all, it established the principles of the supremacy of the Constitution and the separation of powers, as well as procedures for government accountability that were ahead of the times. The mythologised constitutions were supposed to provide a special bound connecting rulers with “constitutional nations” and to secure the future. Therefore, it was assumed that if a constitution appeared at all, it must be inherently good.
The paper intends to add a practical approach to the panel; it analysis if the features of a good constitution characterise the Hungarian constitution.
The Hungarian constitution of 2011 is the newest and perhaps the most debated in Europe. The constitution contains the common achievements of human rights and a state structure fit to a parliamentary system, still, it is often blamed for being ideologically biased and does not ensure rule of law and separation of powers.
The paper concludes that scholars, politicians and practical lawyers have different aspects when evaluating a constitution. The paper intends to sum up the different approaches and evaluates the experience of the first ten years of the constitution. Relying upon the experience the paper seeks the answer if there can be a general answer for the “goodness” of the constitution.
Constitution and its perception are different in different societies.
Social effect of constitution always shows real power of the document, how it works in practice and what is its impact on society. This is always linked to the question of legitimation and the will of the people, as they are main source of political power. Traditionally, Georgian constitutional reforms are known to be designed by concrete politicians according to their political or sometimes very individual taste. Despite the existence of constitutional commissions, mostly they are just fictions and the text is written “somewhere in the dark cabinet”.
This paper aims to underline basic directions of Georgian constitution-making process, analyze impact of constitutional legitimation on the perception of the basic law and how to measure the will of the people in the constitutional law-making process. The paper will be focused on the Georgian experience and will determine basic challenges for the Georgian constitution
Territorial arrangement and territorial politics are among of those important issues which should be covered by all “good” constitutions. In fact, all constitutions of federal countries have special chapters regulate statuses of subjects of those federations as well as relationships between federal and local levels. Constitutions of unitary states also have clear regulations about territorial arrangement.
The Constitution of Georgia have some ambiguousness in this regard:
First of all, from this constitution is not clear model of territorial arrangement of this country. In fact, Georgia is an unitary state with two autonomies, but the constitution also has norms distinctive just for federal constitutions;
Secondly, there are some gaps regarding Abkhazian Autonomous Republic and occupied territories of Georgia.
The aim of this paper is to present and analyze the shortcomings of the Constitution of Georgia regarding territorial politics in the context of a good constitution.