Kukuruz Oksana. Institute of sitizen’s appeals in Republic of Poland: political and legal aspects
The Polish legislation concerning institute of citizen`s appeals is analyzed in this article. The Constitution of Republic of Poland contains right to petitions, proposals and complaints, but does not mention notion such a «right to appeal». The subjects of proposals, complaints, procedure their submission and consideration are regulated by the Code of Administrative Proceedings. The definition of the subjects of the petition and the order of it’s submission and consideration for a long time did not exist. Petitions were qualified as a proposal or a complaint and then dealt with in accordance with the procedure defined in the Code of Administrative Proceedings.
This legal gap was covered by representatives of the authorities and civil society representatives. In particular, the Council of Ministers drafted amendments to the Code of Administrative Proceedings (1999), Advocate for Citizens’ Rights raised the question before the Council of Ministers (2008) concerning the method and procedure of consideration of petitions, representatives of non-governmental organizations through the Senate presented a draft a law on petition (2011). However, the law on petitions was adopted 18 years after providing to citizens the constitutional right to petitions (Constitution of Poland was adopted on April 2, 1997, and law on petitions – July 11, 2014 and entered into force – September 6, 2015).
Many Polish scientists pay attention to petitions, their similarities and differences with proposals and complaints because the legislation for a long time didn`t define the subject of the petition and order of acceptance and consideration. Several authors consider, that the petitions are a common name of all appeals, second, that there is a particular form of appeals. Scientists have attempted to find criterions, that would allow to distinguish petitions and proposals. 1. Criterion presence criticism. The petition contains elements of criticism of phenomena described in it, and the proposal – usually not (B. Banaszak). 2. Criterion of pointing a concrete decision. The subject of petition insists of the acceptance of specific position, concrete decision by an addressee and the subject of proposal – insists to decide a problem (R. Piotrowski). There were also the views that the petitions are different from proposals by subjects of submission (this is only a collective appeal) and interest contained in the appeal (only the public that matters for society).
Adoption of the law on petitions, determining their subjects, removed part of the issues discussed, in particular, the legislator pointed out that the petition may present physical and legal entities, organizations that are not legal entities or a group of these subjects entities (that is, it is not only collective appeal). The basis of the petition is defined by the public interest, the interest of a subject submitting the petition, and the subject of the third, with his consent (that is, it is not only a collective interest). However, the legislation doesn’t contain criteria for distinguishing petitions and proposals. There are no differing between subjects and objects of submission petitions and proposals. In practice, appeals can contain elements of several types.
Based on the etymological interpretations of the word «petition», several scientists consider it to be a general concept, covering all other appeals. From the analysis of the constitutional provisions follows that petition is one of the types of appeals. The representatives of the authorities together with scientists and representatives of civil society should clearly define the notions – «appeals», «right to appeal», types of appeals on the basis of scientifically based criteria, for example: by essence – requests, proposals, demands, complaints etc.; by subject of submission – individual, collective etc.
Theoretical determination of basic notions improves practice of realization the right to appeal, and therefore the institution of citizen`s appeals should fulfill its important functions, such as informing authorities about the existing problems, the protection of the interests of ci- tizens, community, state, finding the most optimal solution to social problems.
Key words: appeals, petitions, proposals, complaints, criteria for distinguishing between types of appeals, functions of institute of appeal, the Republic of Poland.