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Democratic Audit of Poland 2014

Series:

Radosław Markowski, Michał Kotnarowski, Michał Wenzel and Marta Żerkowska-Balas

The book is a study of the state of the Polish democracy and focuses on the years 2012 and 2013. It explores available documents and statistical data, offers a collection of experts' judgments, and analyses public opinion research. Ten domains of democracy are covered, some of them as fundamental as the rule of law, the political community or public administration. The study evaluates contemporary Polish democracy as consolidated and assesses it as reasonably effective, although a number of clear shortcomings call for improvements.
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2. The rule of law

← 32 | 33 → 2.The rule of law

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In our definition of the rule of law, three factors are of primary importance, namely: the quality of legislation, institutional infrastructure (organization and effectiveness of courts and the public prosecutor’s office) as well as prestige of law (compliance with the applicable legal provisions and the level of tolerance for actions resulting in breaking the law).

An overview of the rule of law should start with placing this problem in the international context in order to provide it with a reference point for the data obtained in Poland.

According to a study by the World Bank known as World Governance Indicators, measuring the quality of enforcement of the contracts, property rights, performance of the police forces and the judiciary, as well as crime and violence levels7, Poland scored 0.74 points (on a scale from −2.5 to 2.5). This assessment is comparable to other countries similar in their social, economic and political development.

When we look at the dynamics of the assessment of the rule of law in Poland, it will turn out that until 1998 this indicator was increasing and then until 2006 it was decreasing only to go up again, and in 2012 reached the similar level to the previous peak of 1998.

← 33 | 34 → Fig./Tab. 2.1: The rule of law indicator

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