The current Constitution of Poland was adopted on 2 April 1997. Formally known as the Constitution of the Republic of Poland (Polish: Konstytucja Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej), it replaced the temporary amendments put into place in 1992 designed to reverse the effects of Communism, establishing the nation as "a democratic state ruled by law and implementing the principles of social justice". It was adopted by the National Assembly of Poland on 2 April 1997, approved by a national referendum on 25 May 1997, and came into effect on 17 October 1997.
Preamble • Having regard for the existence and future of our Homeland,Which recovered, in 1989, the possibility of a sovereign and democratic determination of its fate,We, the Polish Nation - all citizens of the Republic,Both those who believe in God as the source of truth, justice, good and beauty,
The latter document served as a virtual Polish constitution and contained the basic laws of the Commonwealth: free election of kings; the Diet to be gathered every two years; • religious tolerance; official posts restricted to Polish and Lithuanian nobles; foreign policy controlled by the Diet; a royal advisory council chosen by the Diet;
May Constitution, 1791 • The Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791 (Polish: Konstytucja Trzeciego Maja) was Europe's first modern codified national constitution. It was instituted by the Government Act (Polish: Ustawa rządowa) adopted on that date by the Sejm (parliament) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was designed to redress long-standing political defects of the federative Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and its Golden Liberty. The Constitution introduced political equality between townspeople and nobility (szlachta) and placed the peasants under the protection of the government, thus mitigating the worst abuses of serfdom. The Constitution abolished pernicious parliamentary institutions such as the liberum veto, which at one time had placed the sejm at the mercy of any deputy who might choose, or be bribed by an interest or foreign power, to undo all the legislation that had been passed by that sejm. The May 3rd Constitution sought to supplant the existing anarchy fostered by some of the country's reactionarymagnates, with a more egalitarian and democraticconstitutional monarchy.
Third Polish Republic (1989-present) • Prior to the current 1997 Constitution, country was governed by the Small Constitution of 1992, which amended the main articles of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Poland and formed the legal basis of the Polish State between 1992 and 1997.