The Right to Subsistence Minimum and Its Role in the Protection of People Living in Extreme Poverty – the Polish Experience

Adam Ploszka



Subsistence minimum guaranteed to each individual by the public authorities may be perceived as a human right under the constitutional law. That right becomes even more important when the ability to question social and economic rights is limited. That was the case in the Polish constitutional system, among others. Because of the restrictions on the ability to question ESC-rights, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal found “subsistence minimum” as a special type of constitutional value inferred from human dignity which is guaranteed to every person under the Constitution. While giving its judgment, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal made reference to the case law of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany which inferred “The fundamental right to guarantee a subsistence minimum that is in line with human dignity” from the German Basic Law. That right is of special importance for individuals who live in extreme poverty.


subsistence minimum; human dignity; extreme poverty; ESC rights; Constitution of Poland; Polish Constitutional Tribunal; Federal Constitutional Court of Germany

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