Polish law or the Polish legal system in Poland has developed since the first centuries of Polish history more than 1,000 years ago. Polish public and private law are codified. In Polish legislation, the issue of migration is regulated by numerous legal acts at different levels. As already mentioned, there are also a number of institutions whose work is aimed at supporting the work of the Council of Ministers, as well as its President, and are therefore directly subordinate to the Chancellery of the Council of Ministers. More information on their work and legal bases is available on most of each institution`s websites: The main legal acts relating to migration and asylum are: The legal acts – promulgated and consolidated – are published in the SIAP database as PDF files. Only legal acts published in the Official Gazette or the Polish Monitor constitute a legitimate source of law in Poland. Therefore, electronic versions of legal acts available in the database are only considered as information material. These publications do not constitute a legitimate source of law in Poland. It is important to read all changes in the composition of the Supreme Court in accordance with the second amended law – Law of 8 December 2017 amending the Law on the National Council of the Judiciary and certain other laws (Official Gazette of 2018, item 3, as amended). The most important changes concern the composition of the Council and the procedure for selecting the majority of its members. According to Article 187.1 of the Polish Constitution, the Council (NCJ) consists of 25 members, 15 of whom are judges of various Polish courts.
The rest of the composition of the NJC consists of four deputies, two senators, the First President of the Supreme Court, the President of the Supreme Administrative Court, the Minister of Justice and a representative of the President of the Republic of Poland. So far, the 15 members of the judiciary have been elected by the judges from among the representatives of their profession. On the other hand, under the newly amended law, judges are elected by Parliament (lower house). Candidates for NCJ members elected from among judges are reported to the Sejm by groups of at least 2,000 adult Polish citizens or a group of 25 professional judges. All other acts are part of national law. They bind only the bodies of public administration and self-government which are subordinate to the issuing bodies and organizational units. This situation has put a majority of the Polish judiciary on a collision course with the executive. In order to resolve emerging legal conflicts, Polish judges have started to use the legal mechanisms at their disposal. Sometimes this meant that ordinary courts referred questions of law (concerning the interpretation of individual laws) to the Supreme Court of Poland. However, the appointment of Supreme Court judges by the President under the new NJC law and procedure has raised doubts about the validity of at least part of the composition of the Supreme Court itself.
Polish judges have started asking the CJEU for preliminary rulings on this issue. During the election of the new judicial members of the NJC in January 2018, the political opposition and the majority of legal experts found significant irregularities. First, they noted the lack of transparency. Namely, who supported individual candidates, as the lists with the names of judges and citizens supporting individual candidates were not disclosed during the vote in parliament or until today in February 2020. As a result, it was not possible to determine whether each candidate met the criterion of necessary support. According to the political opposition and the majority of legal experts and authorities, this situation undermined the legitimacy of the Council`s election and all subsequent decisions. The Council`s competences include the examination and evaluation of candidates for the office of judge and the submission of nominations to the President of Poland for the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court, ordinary, administrative and military courts, and for the appointment of substitute judges to administrative courts. The Polish legislative and executive authorities have not decided to propose a law that would correct the imperfections in the composition of the NJC and lead to the solution of most of the problems. Instead, they adopted a law of 20 December 2019 amending the Law – Law on the Structure of Ordinary Courts, the Law on the Supreme Court and Certain Other Laws (Official Gazette of 2020, item 190; The English translation of this document is available on the Venice Commission`s website).