The autonomy of the denominations, i.e. their right to make their own internal law (ecclesiastical law) and to govern it on their own, is well protected by Polish law. It is guaranteed by Polish Constitution (Article 25 paragraph 3), Concordat (Articles 1 and 5), the Act of 17th May 1989 on the Guarantees of conscience and religion (Article 19 paragraph. 2 point 4), and in relation to fifteen churches and other denominations there are individual legislative acts from the years 1928-1997. In the Polish legal system the principle of mutual independence of state law and ecclesiastical law is valid. Ecclesiastical law, as a rule, does not take effect in the state legal order, unless the State consents to it in an act or in an international agreement. In the event of any contradiction between the norms of ecclesiastical and state laws, the state law takes precedence over the ecclesiastical one. The existing law differentiates the denominations in the area of the state control over the execution of the rights to create internal law. The autonomy of religious communities registered in church and other denominations records is more limited than the autonomy of the denominations acting on the basis of individual acts. These denominations are not even obliged to inform the central Civil Service about their internal legislation. Polish law does not precisely define the scope of the autonomy of religious communities.
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