Constitution of the Republic of Poland/Chapter 1

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Constitution of the Republic of Poland
Chapter 1:The Republic
THE REPUBLIC
Article 1 

The Republic of Poland shall be the common good of all its citizens.

Article 2 

The Republic of Poland shall be a democratic state ruled by law and implementing the principles of social justice.

Article 3 

The Republic of Poland shall be a unitary State.

Article 4 
  1. Supreme power in the Republic of Poland shall be vested in the Nation.
  2. The Nation shall exercise such power directly or through their representatives.
Article 5 

The Republic of Poland shall safeguard the independence and integrity of its territory and ensure the freedoms and rights of persons and citizens, the security of the citizens, safeguard the national heritage and shall ensure the protection of the natural environment pursuant to the principles of sustainable development.

Article 6 
  1. The Republic of Poland shall provide conditions for the people's equal access to the products of culture which are the source of the Nation's identity, continuity and development.
  2. The Republic of Poland shall provide assistance to Poles living abroad to maintain their links with the national cultural heritage.
Article 7 

The organs of public authority shall function on the basis of, and within the limits of, the law.

Article 8 
  1. The Constitution shall be the supreme law of the Republic of Poland.
  2. The provisions of the Constitution shall apply directly, unless the Constitution provides otherwise.
Article 9 

The Republic of Poland shall respect international law binding upon it.

Article 10 
  1. The system of government of the Republic of Poland shall be based on the separation of and balance between the legislative, executive and judicial powers.
  2. Legislative power shall be vested in the Sejm and the Senate, executive power shall be vested in the President of the Republic of Poland and the Council of Ministers, and the judicial power shall be vested in courts and tribunals.
Article 11 
  1. The Republic of Poland shall ensure freedom for the creation and functioning of political parties. Political parties shall be founded on the principle of voluntariness and upon the equality of Polish citizens, and their purpose shall be to influence the formulation of the policy of the State by democratic means.
  2. The financing of political parties shall be open to public inspection.
Article 12 

The Republic of Poland shall ensure freedom for the creation and functioning of trade unions, socio-occupational organizations of farmers, societies, citizens' movements, other voluntary associations and foundations.

Article 13 

Political parties and other organizations whose programmes are based upon totalitarian methods and the modes of activity of nazism, fascism and communism, as well as those whose programmes or activities sanction racial or national hatred, the application of violence for the purpose of obtaining power or to influence the State policy, or provide for the secrecy of their own structure or membership, shall be prohibited.

Article 14 

The Republic of Poland shall ensure freedom of the press and other means of social communication.

Article 15 
  1. The territorial system of the Republic of Poland shall ensure the decentralization of public power.
  2. The basic territorial division of the State shall be determined by statute, allowing for the social, economic and cultural ties which ensure to the territorial units the capacity to perform their public duties.
Article 16 
  1. The inhabitants of the units of basic territorial division shall form a self-governing community in accordance with law.
  2. Local government shall participate in the exercise of public power. The substantial part of public duties which local government is empowered to discharge by statute shall be done in its own name and under its own responsibility.
Article 17 
  1. By means of a statute, self-governments may be created within a profession in which the public repose confidence, and such self-governments shall concern themselves with the proper practice of such professions in accordance with, and for the purpose of protecting, the public interest.
  2. Other forms of self-government shall also be created by means of statute. Such self-governments shall not infringe the freedom to practice a profession nor limit the freedom to undertake economic activity.
Article 18 

Marriage, being a union of a man and a woman, as well as the family, motherhood and parenthood, shall be placed under the protection and care of the Republic of Poland.

Article 19 

The Republic of Poland shall take special care of veterans of the struggle for independence, particularly war invalids.

Article 20 

A social market economy, based on the freedom of economic activity, private ownership, and solidarity, dialogue and cooperation between social partners, shall be the basis of the economic system of the Republic of Poland.

Article 21 
  1. The Republic of Poland shall protect ownership and the right of succession.
  2. Expropriation may be allowed solely for public purposes and for just compensation.
Article 22 

Limitations upon the freedom of economic activity may be imposed only by means of statute and only for important public reasons.

Article 23 

The basis of the agricultural system of the State shall be the family farm. This principle shall not infringe the provisions of Articles 21 and 22.

Article 24 

Work shall be protected by the Republic of Poland. The State shall exercise supervision over the conditions of work.

Article 25 
  1. Churches and other religious organizations shall have equal rights.
  2. Public authorities in the Republic of Poland shall be impartial in matters of personal conviction, whether religious or philosophical, or in relation to outlooks on life, and shall ensure their freedom of expression within public life.
  3. The relationship between the State and churches and other religious organizations shall be based on the principle of respect for their autonomy and the mutual independence of each in its own sphere, as well as on the principle of cooperation for the individual and the common good.
  4. The relations between the Republic of Poland and the Roman Catholic Church shall be determined by international treaty concluded with the Holy See, and by statute.
  5. The relations between the Republic of Poland and other churches and religious organizations shall be determined by statutes adopted pursuant to agreements concluded between their appropriate representatives and the Council of Ministers.
Article 26 
  1. The Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland shall safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of the State, and shall ensure the security and inviolability of its borders.
  2. The Armed Forces shall observe neutrality regarding political matters and shall be subject to civil and democratic control.
Article 27 

Polish shall be the official language in the Republic of Poland. This provision shall not infringe upon national minority rights resulting from ratified international agreements.

Article 28 
  1. The image of a crowned white eagle upon a red field shall be the coat-of-arms of the Republic of Poland.
  2. White and red shall be the colours of the Republic of Poland.
  3. "Dąbrowski's Mazurka" shall be the national anthem of the Republic of Poland.
  4. The coat-of-arms, colours and national anthem of the Republic of Poland shall be subject to legal protection.
  5. Details concerning the coat-of-arms, colours and national anthem shall be specified by statute.
Article 29 

Warsaw shall be the capital of the Republic of Poland.