Preventive review of norms
Preventive review of norms was introduced in 1989, and the Constitution of 1997 assumed this model, albeit with certain modifications. The right to initiate a priori review is vested exclusively in the President and it refers exclusively to the statutes already adopted by the Parliament and submitted to the President for signature and international agreements submitted to the President for ratification.
Every statute adopted by the Parliament is subsequently submitted to the President for signature; within 21 days of its submission - seven days in case of statutes considered urgent - the President may refer the statute to the Sejm for its reconsideration (presidential veto). The Sejm may repass the statute (override the presidential veto) by a three-fifths majority vote; in such case the President signs the statute within seven days.
The President may also refer to the Constitutional Tribunal for adjudication on the conformity of a statute to the Constitution; the President may question the constitutionality of the statute in its entirety or of its specific provisions. The Tribunal adjudicates exclusively within the scope of provisions questioned. Should the President withdraw the application, the Constitutional Tribunal discontinues the proceedings. The law does not specify the time for passing a decision by the Tribunal, with the exception of the decision on the constitutionality of the budgetary statute, which must be pronounced within two months (Article 224 para. 2 of the Constitution).
The decision in the proceedings instituted upon an application of the President is passed by the Tribunal sitting in full bench and is final: the President is obliged to sign a statute pronounced consistent with the Constitution and to refuse signing a statute pronounced inconsistent with the Constitution in its entirety. Where the Tribunal decides that the unconstitutional provisions are not inseparably connected with the whole statute, the President may either sign the statute with the omission of the provisions considered inconsistent with the Constitution or he may return the statute to the Sejm for the purpose of removing the non-conformity pronounced by the Tribunal.