The Polish Legal System

Internetowy System Aktóv Prawnych

Description

The Online Legal Database (Internetowy System Aktów Prawnych – ISAP) is accessible from the webpage of the Sejm (the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament). It comprises regularly updated texts of the legal acts, published either in the Official Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland, (Dziennik Ustaw) or the Polish Monitor (Monitor Polski) together with their bibliographic notices. The ISAP database does not comprise however the local government law nor the internal law). Since January 1st, 2012 the Official Journal as well as the Polish Monitor are available in an electronic version.

The legal acts – both the promulgated and the consolidated texts – are published in the ISAP database as PDF files. Only legal acts published in the Official Journal or the Polish Monitor constitute a legitimate source of law in Poland. Therefore, the electronic versions of legal acts available from the database shall be regarded just as informative materials. Those publications do not constitute a legitimate source of law in Poland.

Legal instruments

The sources of Polish law are divided into two categories, i.e. the universally binding law and the internal law.

  • The universally binding law includes:
    • the Constitution of 2 April 1997 – the supreme law in Poland (its English version may be found at the Sejm’s webpage)
    • ratified international agreements
    • statutes (ustawa) – a fundamental source of Polish law passed by the Sejm
    • regulations (rozporządzenie) – executive acts passed by the statutes’ authorized bodies (i.e. the President, the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers, ministers and the National Broadcasting Council)
    • the local government law – acts passed by the local government empowered by the provisions of and within the limits prescribed in the statutes; their binding force extends only to the territory of the local government’s jurisdiction
  • The internal law, e.g. resolutions of the Council of Ministers (uchwała Rady Ministrów), orders of the President (zarządzenie Prezydenta), orders of the Prime Minister (zarządzenie Prezesa Rady Ministrów) – acts of internal character; they bind only the organizational units which are subordinate to the issuing authority.
Warsaw - The Parliament