Chapter 11: Poland
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The report purports to depict the theory and practice relating to the public policy exception as it operates in Poland. The exception applies whenever fundamental principles of the Polish legal order would be compromised as a result of giving effects to foreign laws or decisions. It is considered an extraordinary safety valve and so it is invoked rarely. The author takes a look at the sources of public policy in Poland and the methodology of its application, with a particular emphasis on the criteria for its operation. The report makes also an overview of the areas, in which the exception was most often used in Poland, both in the history, as well as in the recent years. Special attention is paid to recognition of legal effects of the same-sex relationships, given that many Polish courts and scholars zealously defend the exclusiveness of the heterosexual marriage and even oppose same-sex partnerships. The manner in which courts apply the public policy exception sheds a light on the values that dominate the given legal system and the society as whole. In 2021, Poland seems to be torn apart between the path towards the Western liberal democratic cosmopolitanism, which it undertook 30 years ago, and a more recent, albeit deeply rooted in Polish traditionalism, conservative wave.

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