Państwo i Prawo (PiP) [The State and the Law] is the second oldest academic legal journal in Poland. Affiliated to the Committee of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the monthly has been published without interruptions since 1946. The publisher is Wolters Kluwer Polska.
The Editor-in-Chief of Państwo i Prawo and the Editorial Committee are appointed for a term by the Dean of Division I: Humanities and Social Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences upon motion of the PAS Committee of Law Studies from among outstanding lawyers, who have made great contributions to the science and practice of law in Poland. So far, the subsequent Editors-in-Chief were: prof. dr hab. Stanisław Ehrlich (1946–1967), prof. dr hab. Sylwester Zawadzki (1967–1981), prof. dr hab. Leszek Kubicki (1981–2012), and prof. dr hab. Andrzej Wróbel (since 2012).
The members of the journal’s Editorial Committee are scholars from Poland and abroad, whrepresenting all branches of law, all of whom hold at least the degree of doctor habilitatus of law. An important element of Państwo i Prawo’s tradition is the diversity and pluralism of specializations and affiliations of Editorial Committee members.
The author receives 70 points for a publication in The State and the Law (according to the Annex to the Communication of the Minister of Science of 5 January 2024, regarding the list of academic journals and reviewed materials from international conferences, issued on the basis of Article 267(3) of the Act on Higher Education and Science of 20 July 2018, Polish Journal of Laws [Dziennik Ustaw], consolidated text: 2023, item 742, as amended).
The journal is included in the international European Reference Index for the Humanities and Social Sciences (ERIH+) database.
Państwo i Prawo publishes exclusively original academic papers from a certain area of legal scholarship. These papers come in the form of articles, polemic articles, and commentaries on the judgments of Polish and foreign courts or tribunals. Furthermore, PiP publishes academic reviews of monographs from the field of law, as well as short reports on the most important international or Polish nationwide academic conferences. Each manuscript published in PiP is reviewed. The publications are in Polish, English, French, or German.
Articles published in Państwo i Prawo are among the most frequently cited papers, both in other legal periodicals or monographs and in the case law of general and administrative courts, and even the Constitutional Tribunal.
The strict requirements in terms of both methodology and contents that Państwo i Prawo set for the authors, the composition of the Editorial Committee, as well as the prestige and recognition of the monthly among the Polish scholars, all contributed to it becoming one of the most important forums of academic discussion about the law throughout its history spanning over 70 years. Virtually from the time it was established, PiP has published articles on the basic issues of the philosophy and theory of law (such as the construction of the legal system, the notion of legal norm, the typology of legal norms, the validity of law, the model of applying the law, conflicts of law, and the hierarchy of sources of law). Over years, these articles gradually acquired a canonical character, becoming the basic point of reference in all areas of the Polish legal scholarship. It was in Państwo i Prawo that fundamental discussions were conducted on problems arising in connection with the entry into force and application of the 1952 Constitution, the Little Constitution of 1992, and the 1997 Constitution, which is currently in force. Moreover, starting from the 1970s, Państwo i Prawo has been the fundamental place of academic discussion on reforms of procedural and substantive criminal, administrative, and civil law. Subsequent issues contained articles which analysed the provisions of almost all Polish codes and systemic acts. Some of the discussions and polemics that took place in PiP actually brought about changes in the direction of case law of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, and the Constitutional Tribunal or became the impulses for subsequent reforms of Polish legislation. The examples include a group of articles on the liability in damages for unlawful activities of public authorities. In the 1990s, topics concerning the EU started to be regularly discussed in the periodical. It was Państwo i Prawo that published articles on the legal conditions for and consequences of Poland’s accession to and membership in the European Union, which were broadly discussed among academics. Another important element in the publishing tradition of the periodical is articles in the field of comparative law, mainly from the areas of constitutional, administrative, and civil law.
The articles are written by the most renowned Polish and foreign academics and experts, including judges of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, the Constitutional Tribunal, the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and other international courts or tribunals.
The journal’s mission is to publish original academic articles of the highest importance both in the fields of public and private law. Just as in the oldest foreign legal periodicals, the range of topics discussed in Państwo i Prawo is broad, covering all branches of law. However, the mission of PiP is publishing articles that contain new thoughts and make a contribution to the development of legal philosophy, theory, and dogmatics. This is owed to the profile of the periodical, which is well-established among scholars, and the high requirements set for authors by PiP reviewers.
For over 50 years the journal has supported young and more experienced academics through holding an annual competition for the best doctoral and habilitation dissertations. Activities aimed at popularizing scholarship are just as important an element of the journal’s mission. These activities include holding the annual debates and lectures of Państwo i Prawa. They are attended by speakers and participants from academic centres in Poland and abroad.
Państwo i Prawo is available in numerous university libraries all over the world, including the libraries of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg; the European University Institute in Florence; the University of Vienna; Columbia University; the Yale Law School, as well as the British Library.