After long years of legislative work, on 2 April 1997, the National Assembly adopted The Constitution of the Republic of Poland. It entered into force on 17 October 1997. The new Constitution introduced a “rationalised” parliamentary-cabinet system in Poland. It is the first Constitution of the Third Republic. The act defined the position of the Sejm and the Senate within the system without using the term “parliament”. It adopted the doctrine of separation of powers, which provided for a balance between the legislative and executive powers. In practice the binding provisions of the Constitution ensure the supremacy of the legislative power. Both chambers are autonomous bodies, independent of each other, with their own powers. The Constitution retained the principle of bicameralism of the legislature. The Sejm and the Senate sitting jointly constitute the National Assembly
The Sejm plays a vital role in the governmental system of Poland. This fact is attributable to the long historic tradition of our country, its political culture and contemporary experiences in the field of political governance expressed in the provisions of the 1997 Constitution. According to this Constitution, the Republic of Poland is a democratic State ruled by law, whose system rests on the principle of the separation and balance of powers. The Constitution recognizes the inherent, inalienable and inviolable dignity of people as a source of rights and freedoms. The fulfillment of those values and principles makes indispensable a democratically elected Parliament which would create law and control the activities of the executive power. More information.
Pursuant to Article 10, Par. 2 and Article 95 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of April 2, 1997, the Senate – side by side with the Sejm – exercises legislative power. The Senate is composed of 100 senators who are elected for a term of 4 years in general election in a direct vote by secret ballot. Side by side with the Sejm, the President of the Republic of Poland, the Council of Ministers and Polish citizens, the Senate may take legislative initiatives. In the events identified in the Constitution, the Sejm and the Senate convene as a General Assembly for a joint session chaired by the Marshal of the Sejm, or in his absence, by the Marshal of the Senate. More information.