This article is devoted to the description of the functioning of direct democracy mechanisms provided for in the political system of the Third Republic of Poland. The author concentrates mostly on the definitional consideration referring to the institution of civil initiative (public). Later, the author carries out an analysis of the implementation process of this form of direct democracy in the Polish legal system, which was initiated in local communities. ; There follows a review of civil activity indication in the sphere of local self-government in accordance with the regulations included in the following Acts; Act on Gmina's self government as of 8th March 1990, Acts on Powiat and Voivodship self-government (1998) as well as the Act on Gmina's referendum (1991) and local referendum (2000). The author further describes the political and normative bases creation process to execute legislative civil initiative in the Polish parliament. There is also an account of the citizens' activity in the sphere that took place after 1999. ; An assessment of the functioning of legislative civil initiative allows to claim that it shallprobably remain a pressure instrument in the hands of organised professional group or political opposition circles. It also applies to civil initiatives on referendum which has never resulted in holding the referendum itself, but provided some chance to publicize in media some controversial project and contributed to social activation. ; Similarly modest and not very positive appears to be the assessment of civil initiative functioning in local Poland. Statutes of self government communities seem to be more open to the form of direct democracy, however its practical application is limited. The greatest number (around 500) of civil initiatives on referendum dealt with the issue of authority dismissal.