Principles of Deputies` Ethics

Polish Code of Deputies’ Ethics
dr Julia Wojnowska-Radzińska
Bureau of Research
Chancellery of the Sejm
“Principles of Deputies’ Ethics”
The ethical principles for deputies are enshrined in
the Resolution entitled “Principles of Deputies’
Ethics” which was adopted by the Polish Sejm in
1998. This Act is based upon the following
principles: selflessness, openness,
conscientiousness, accountability, and respect
for the reputation of the Sejm.
Article 1 of the Code provides:
“Upon the taking of his oath, a deputy is to be
guided in his/her public service by the binding
legal order, and generally accepted ethical
principles, as well as the concern for the
common good in the spirit of solidarity”.
Article 2 of the Code requires that:
„A deputy should act in a manner corresponding to
the dignity of a deputy, in particular by following
the aforementioned principles of selflessness,
openness, conscientiousness, upholding the
good reputation of the Sejm and accountability.”
Ethical principles:
The deputies are to be guided by public interest and not
to use their function in order to gain any advantage for
themselves or their next of kin or accept benefits which
could influence their activity as deputies (principle of
The deputies when making decisions shall act in the
manner which is available to the public opinion. The
deputies are to disclose a connection between their
personal interests and the decision-making process
which they take part in (principle of openness).
Ethical principles:
The deputies shall fulfill their duties properly and their
acting should be governed by the substantive facts
(principle of conscientiousness).
The deputies should avoid behaviours which may harm
the reputation of the Sejm. They should respect the
dignity of other people (principle of respect for the good
reputation of the Sejm).
Deputies are responsible for their decisions and actions,
and they are to submit themselves to applicable
explanatory and scrutiny procedures (principle of
accountability). Accountability for the violation of the
ethical principles is set forth in provisions of the Standing
Orders of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland.
Observing by Sejm deputies the Principles of
Deputies’ Ethics is monitored by the Deputies’
Ethics Committee:
Decisions in cases of Deputies who conduct themselves
in a manner inconsistent with the dignity of a Deputy,
shall be taken on the basis of the „Principles of Deputies’
Ethics” (Art. 145 para. 1 StOS). The Committee shall, at
its own initiative, consider matters falling with its
competence. Nevertheless, it takes into consideration
proposals put forward to the Committee by other bodies
of the Sejm and deputies, and other persons as well.
The Deputies’ Ethics Committe may require a Deputy to
explain any matters of doubt which have arisen in the
course of proceedings (Art. 146 StOS).
Observing by Sejm deputies the Principles of
Deputies’ Ethics is monitored by the Deputies’
Ethics Committee:
Having examined a case and having found a violation of
the Principles, the Committee may by means of a
resolution reproach, admonish or reprimand a deputy.
Resolutions made by the Committee are to be made
public. They may be appealed against to the chairman of
the Committee, who presents it further to the Presidium
of the Sejm.
Resolutions to admonish or reprimand a deputy must be
passed by an absolute majority of votes in the presence
of at least half of the number of the Committee
Final conclusions:
The maintenance and promotion of high ethical
standards in public life are essential to underpin
democratic values and a quality-based public service.
However, we must also remember that the mere
existence of ethical system is not enough for preventing
misconducts by parliamentarians. The existence of a
code of ethics and committee can help, but it does not
guarantee a miracle cure for all that is perceived to be
wrong with politicians. The codes of conduct are most
effective when they are built on a political culture where
integrity, transparency and accountability are highly
Thank you very much for your

similar documents