The Publicisation of Private Relations by Horizontal Application of Constitutional Rights

Iwona Wróblewska



Constitutional courts (CCs) are more and more often facing a situation in which the status of entities of legal relation escapes public – private distinction. The reasons for this include inter alia the privatization of state tasks. To ensure the efficiency of fundamental rights in a “reduced” state, CCs develop instruments that make it possible to apply constitutional provisions also in formally private relations. These instruments are based on the horizontal application of constitutional rights. They result in the publicisation of private relations. The measures taken by CCs restore the balance previously disturbed because of privatization. Therefore I describe them as a “return” or “corrective” publicisation. Despite important differences between legal cultures and the legal reality in particular countries (Germany, USA, Poland) the mechanism of judicial publicisation is based, to some extent, on universal argumentation.


horizontal; application of constitutional rights; publicisation of private relations; constitutional courts; privatization of states tasks

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