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13 October 2019Meeting placeI posiedzenie Senatu IX kadencji 01.JPGThe Sejm and Senate Complex, WarsawWebsitesenat.gov.pl

The Senate (Polish: Senat) is the upper house of the Polish parliament, the lower house being the Sejm. The history of the Polish Senate stretches back over 500 years; it was one of the first constituent bodies of a bicameral parliament in Europe and existed without hiatus until the final partition of the Polish state in 1795. The contemporary Senate is composed of 100 senators elected by a universal ballot and is headed by the "Marshal of the Senate" (Marszałek Senatu). The incumbent Marshal of the Senate is Tomasz Grodzki.

Following a brief period of existence under the Second Polish Republic, the Senate was again abolished by the authorities of the Polish People's Republic. It was not re-established until the collapse of the communist government and reinstatement of democracy in Poland in 1989. The Senate is based in Warsaw and is located in a building which forms part of the Sejm Complex on Wiejska Street, in close proximity to the Three Crosses Square and Ujazdów Castle.

Role

In line with Article 10, Paragraph 2, and Article 95 of the Polish Constitution of April 2, 1997, the Senate and the Sejm exercises legislative power. The Senate is composed of 100 senators who are elected for a term of four years in general election in a direct vote by secret ballot. Alongside the Sejm, the President of the Polish Republic, the Council of Ministers and all citizens of Poland, the Senate has the right to take legislative initiatives.

If it is necessary for the Sejm and Senate to convene jointly as a general session of the National Assembly, this joint session will be chaired by the Marshal of the Sejm or by the Marshal of the Senate. The Senate is allowed 30 days to examine any piece of draft legislation passed by the Sejm, 14 days if a bill is considered to be urgent. Any bill submitted by the Sejm to the Senate may be adopted by the latter without any amendments or amended or rejected (but any rejection or amendment may still be overruled by an absolute majority vote in the Sejm.). Any resolution of the Senate, as a result of which a bill is repealed or amended, is considered to be passed provided it has not been rejected by the Sejm.

However, for the state budget, the Senate has 20 days to examine it. For amending the constitution, the Senate has 60 days for analysis. If the constitution is amended, identical wording of the amendment must be approved by both the Sejm and the Senate.

The president cannot decide to stage a nationwide referendum on matters of national importance unless he or she has been given explicit permission to do so by the Senate. The Senate is also empowered to examine any reports submitted by the Commissioner for the Protection of Citizens' Rights and the National Broadcasting Council. Other than its significant involvement in the legislative process, the Senate is required to grant its consent in the case of appointment or removal of the President of the Supreme Chamber of Control, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, the Commissioner for Protection of Citizens' Rights and the Ombudsman for Children and the General Inspector for Personal Data Protection.

However, unlike the Sejm, the Senate has no role in providing for oversight of the executive. The Senate currently appoints one member of the National Broadcasting Council, two members of the Council of the Institute of National Remembrance, two of its own senators to sit on the National Judiciary Board and three members of the Monetary Policy Council of the National Bank. The Marshal of the Senate and any 30 senators may also request the Constitutional Tribunal to examine any act of domestic legislation or international agreement to check that it complies with the constitution, ratified international agreements, and other legislation.

Since the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon, the Senate also has the right to report issues about option and implementation of European legislation in Poland to the central authorities of the European Union.

History

Kingdom and Commonwealth

Polish: Senat) is the upper house of the Polish parliament, the lower house being the Sejm. The history of the Polish Senate stretches back over 500 years; it was one of the first constituent bodies of a bicameral parliament in Europe and existed without hiatus until the final partition of the Polish state in 1795. The contemporary Senate is composed of 100 senators elected by a universal ballot and is headed by the "Marshal of the Senate" (Marszałek Senatu). The incumbent Marshal of the Senate is Tomasz Grodzki.

Following a brief period of existence under the Second Polish Republic, the Senate was again abolished by the authorities of the Polish People's Republic. It was not re-established until the collapse of the communist government and reinstatement of democracy in Poland in 1989. The Senate is based in Warsaw and is located in a building which forms part of the Sejm Complex on Wiejska Street, in close proximity to the Three Crosses Square and Ujazdów Castle.

Role

In line with Article 10, Paragraph 2, and Article 95 of the Polish Constitution of April 2, 1997, the Senate and the Sejm exercises legislative power. The Senate is composed of 100 senators who are elected for a term of four years in general election in a direct vote by secret ballot. Alongside the Sejm, the President of the Polish Republic, the Council of Ministers and all citizens of Poland, the Senate has the right to take legislative initiatives.

If it is necessary for the Sejm and Senate to convene jointly as a general session of the National Assembly, this joint session will be chaired by the Marshal of the Sejm or by the Marshal of the Senate. The Senate is allowed 30 days to examine any piece of draft legislation passed by the Sejm, 14 days if a bill is considered to be urgent. Any bill submitted by the Sejm to the Senate may be adopted by the latter without any amendments or amended or rejected (but any rejection or amendment may still be overruled by an absolute majority vote in the Sejm.). Any resolution of the Senate, as a result of which a bill is repealed or amended, is considered to be passed provided it has not been rejected by the Sejm.

However, for the state budget, the Senate has 20 days to examine it. For amending the constitution, the Senate has 60 days for analysis. If the constitution is amended, identical wording of the amendment must be approved by both the Sejm and the Senate.

The president cannot decide to stage a nationwide referendum on matters of national importance unless he or she has been given explicit permission to do so by the Senate. The Senate is also empowered to examine any reports submitted by the Commissioner for the Protection of Citizens' Rights and the National Broadcasting Council. Other than its significant involvement in the legislative process, the Senate is required to grant its consent in the case of appointment or removal of the President of the Supreme

Following a brief period of existence under the Second Polish Republic, the Senate was again abolished by the authorities of the Polish People's Republic. It was not re-established until the collapse of the communist government and reinstatement of democracy in Poland in 1989. The Senate is based in Warsaw and is located in a building which forms part of the Sejm Complex on Wiejska Street, in close proximity to the Three Crosses Square and Ujazdów Castle.

In line with Article 10, Paragraph 2, and Article 95 of the Polish Constitution of April 2, 1997, the Senate and the Sejm exercises legislative power. The Senate is composed of 100 senators who are elected for a term of four years in general election in a direct vote by secret ballot. Alongside the Sejm, the President of the Polish Republic, the Council of Ministers and all citizens of Poland, the Senate has the right to take legislative initiatives.

If it is necessary for the Sejm and Senate to convene jointly as a general session of the National Assembly, this joint session will be chaired by the Marshal of the Sejm or by the Marshal of the Senate. The Senate is allowed 30 days to examine any piece of draft legislation passed by the Sejm, 14 days if a bill is considered to be urgent. Any bill submitted by the Sejm to the Senate may be adopted by the latter without any amendments or amended or rejected (but any rejection or amendment may still be overruled by an absolute majority vote in the Sejm.). Any resolution of the Senate, as a result of which a bill is repealed or amended, is considered to be passed provided it has not been rejected by the Sejm.

However, for the state budget, the Senate has 20 days to examine it. For amending the constitution, the Senate has 60 days for analysis. If the constitution is amended, identical wording of the amendment must be approved by both the Sejm and the Senate.

The president cannot decide to stage a nationwide referendum on matters of national importance unless he or she has been given explicit permission to do so by the Senate. The Senate is also empowered to examine any reports submitted by the Commissioner for the Protection of Citizens' Rights and the National Broadcasting Council. Other than its significant involvement in the legislative process, the Senate is required to grant its consent in the case of appointment or removal of the President of the Supreme Chamber of Control, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, the Commissioner for Protection of Citizens' Rights and the Ombudsman for Children and the General Inspector for Personal Data Protection.

However, unlike the Sejm, the Senate has no role in providing for oversight of the executive. The Senate currently appoints one member of the National Broadcasting Council, two members of the Council of the Institute of National Remembrance, two of its own senators to sit on the National Judiciary Board and three members of the Monetary Policy Council of the National Bank. The Marshal of the Senate and any 30 senators may also

If it is necessary for the Sejm and Senate to convene jointly as a general session of the National Assembly, this joint session will be chaired by the Marshal of the Sejm or by the Marshal of the Senate. The Senate is allowed 30 days to examine any piece of draft legislation passed by the Sejm, 14 days if a bill is considered to be urgent. Any bill submitted by the Sejm to the Senate may be adopted by the latter without any amendments or amended or rejected (but any rejection or amendment may still be overruled by an absolute majority vote in the Sejm.). Any resolution of the Senate, as a result of which a bill is repealed or amended, is considered to be passed provided it has not been rejected by the Sejm.

However, for the state budget, the Senate has 20 days to examine it. For amending the constitution, the Senate has 60 days for analysis. If the constitution is amended, identical wording of the amendment must be approved by both the Sejm and the Senate.

The president cannot decide to stage a nationwide referendum on matters of national importance unless he or she has been given explicit permission to do so by the Senate. The Senate is also empowered to examine any reports submitted by the Commissioner for the Protection of Citizens' Rights and the National Broadcasting Council. Other than its significant involvement in the legislative process, the Senate is required to grant its consent in the case of appointment or removal of the President of the Supreme Chamber of Control, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, the Commissioner for Protection of Citizens' Rights and the Ombudsman for Children and the General Inspector for Personal Data Protection.

However, unlike the Sejm, the Senate has no role in providing for oversight of the executive. The Senate currently appoints one member of the National Broadcasting Council, two members of the Council of the Institute of National Remembrance, two of its own senators to sit on the National Judiciary Board and three members of the Monetary Policy Council of the National Bank. The Marshal of the Senate and any 30 senators may also request the Constitutional Tribunal to examine any act of domestic legislation or international agreement to check that it complies with the constitution, ratified international agreements, and other legislation.

Since the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon, the Senate also has the right to report issues about option and implementation of European legislation in Poland to the central authorities of the European Union.

The Senate can be traced back approximately five hundred years to a council of royal advisors. In the Nobles' Democracy, the Senate was a Privy council rather than an upper chamber of the Sejm, and consisted of members of the royal cabinet and the royal court, together with burgraves, voivodes, prefects and castellans (all appointed by the king), and Catholic bishops (see Senatorial offices for details). It was not until 1453 that the first mention was made of a two chamber legislative body in which the 'lords' of the kingdom were represented in a 'council of lords', however, by 1493 the Sejm, made up of the King, Senate and Chamber of Envoys was finally established as a permanent legislative body for the Polish kingdom.[1]

In 1501 at Mielnik, senators attempted to force the soon to be crowned king Alexander I Jagiellon to devolve all royal powers relating to the governing of the state to them. However, whilst Alexander first agreed, after his coronation he refused to affirm this privilege. Later the Nihil Novi act of 1505 affirmed the right of both the Chamber of Envoys and Senate to propagate common law for the kingdom. In 1529 the Senate finally reached a decision on its own composition; after the accession of Mazovia to the Kingdom of Poland, the Senate became composed of Roman Catholic diocesan bishops, provincial governors, lesser and greater castellans, ministers (grand chamberlain, chancellor, deputy chancellors, grand treasurer and court Marshal), all of whom were appointed for life by the king. At this time the competences of the Senate were also laid down as pertaining to participation in legislation, foreign policy and the Sejm Court.

The 1661 session of the Senate in Jasna Góra

In 1537 the Senate followed a course of action which would have seen it become the most important institution in protecting landowners’ rights and freedoms. Howeve

In 1501 at Mielnik, senators attempted to force the soon to be crowned king Alexander I Jagiellon to devolve all royal powers relating to the governing of the state to them. However, whilst Alexander first agreed, after his coronation he refused to affirm this privilege. Later the Nihil Novi act of 1505 affirmed the right of both the Chamber of Envoys and Senate to propagate common law for the kingdom. In 1529 the Senate finally reached a decision on its own composition; after the accession of Mazovia to the Kingdom of Poland, the Senate became composed of Roman Catholic diocesan bishops, provincial governors, lesser and greater castellans, ministers (grand chamberlain, chancellor, deputy chancellors, grand treasurer and court Marshal), all of whom were appointed for life by the king. At this time the competences of the Senate were also laid down as pertaining to participation in legislation, foreign policy and the Sejm Court.

In 1537 the Senate followed a course of action which would have seen it become the most important institution in protecting landowners’ rights and freedoms. However, this view was at odds with those of Sigismund I the Old who believed that the Senate was becoming far too powerful. Resultantly, over the period of 1562–69, the Senate lost many of its powers and influence, eventually becoming subordinate to its formerly-equal companion body, the Chamber of Envoys. In 1569 a very important milestone was achieved when the Union of Lublin was signed and senators of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were incorporated into the Royal Senate of Poland in order to form the Senate of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In addition to this, senators from the autonomous Duchy of Prussia, a fiefdom of the Polish King, were incorporated after having been absent since gaining autonomy in 1466. After these developments the Senate compromised: 142 senators, 15 bishops, 35 provincial governors, 31 greater castellans, 47 lesser castellans and 14 ministers.