Human Rights as a Pillar of Transformation: A Polish Perspective
For about 20 years Poland has been undergoing a systemic transformation consisting in coming closer to European democracies. Human rights (the UN Pacts) and the European Convention have played, and are still playing, the part of axiological yeast. Thanks to human rights, Poland – and possibly also other countries of central and Eastern Europe – universalize (axiologically and ideologically) their own legal system. Reaching a definite level of protection of human rights is the condition of the access to the Council of Europe. The present Chapter speaks on three issues (apart from the information – point 2 of the report – depicting the “state of things” concerning the implementation by Poland of acts of international law, including the acts regulating human rights). First one: human rights as a tool, thanks to which the Polish legal system has gained a category of fundamental constitutional rights. In the process of transformation, particularly in the 1990s, human rights played an important part as a factor adding dynamism to the transformation (points 3 and 4 of the report are devoted to that issue).
The remaining two parts (points 5 and 6) deal with specific conditions and obstacles to saturation of the social practice with the standards human rights. Author believes that the description of the implementation of particular acts or the analysis of their contents are considerably less important than pointing out the causes actually influencing their applying in practice. Author concentrates on the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It is the only act provided with an extensive mechanism – accessible to victims and at the same time having a direct influence on the states (state organs) which have violated human rights. Fore the reason of that feature it is an act which has the greatest chance of exerting a real influence on the improvement of the social practice with regard to human rights. This improvement is the main goal which should be served by the internationally undertaken initiatives whose aim is to work out and implement normative acts and acts regarding human rights.