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Proceedings before the court of arbitration have been regulated in Articles 695 – 729 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The discussed proceedings can be applied for the purpose of resolution of disputes regarding all property-related cases, except for the disputes regarding maintenance and relation of employment. Proceedings before the court of arbitration may be applied if there is an arbitration clause. As long as there exists an agreement as regards the arbitration clause, it cannot be demanded that the dispute be resolved by a common court. However, a state court may deem itself incompetent only as a result of an objection raised by the opposing party before it involves in a dispute as to the merits of the case.
Depending on the type of agreement, the case, in order to be heard, may be brought before a permanent court of arbitration or before a court of arbitration to decide on a particular dispute (ad hoc). In any case the parties are left with a high degree of discretion as to the choice of arbitrator(s), the number of arbitrators, the place and the procedure applied, the relevant legislation. What is more, upon the consent of the parties the award may rely on e.g. principles of reasonability, good faith, unlike it is the case in common courts. Court of arbitration may conduct evidence proceedings, hear the parties, witnesses and experts, as well as take their pledges upon a warning of criminal liability for giving false evidence. In the discussed proceedings there exists an obligation to explain the circumstances of the case in a comprehensive way.
A party may personally participate in the proceedings, the lawyer may be an agent for litigation.
The proceeding before the court of arbitration is not free of charge. Arbitrators are entitled to receive remuneration for their acts and to have their expenses reimbursed. Should there be no concord between the parties in this respect, the amount of remuneration is determined by the common court. Parties to the dispute are jointly and severally liable for the payment of remuneration to the arbitrator.
The proceedings before the court of arbitration may result in concluding a settlement. If there is no settlement, than the dispute is decided by means of a judgement. The binding provisions determine the obligatory elements of an award. Copies of the award together with the motives are served ex officio upon both parties to the proceedings. Permanent courts of arbitration may keep the files in their own archives. Otherwise, the court of arbitration, after having served copies of the award upon the parties, places in the common court the case files, including the original of the award, proofs of delivery of the copies and other documents. Common courts give legal assistance to the courts of arbitration regarding the performance of acts that they cannot carry out. These particularly include adjudicating on securing the claim, applying coercive measures with regard to witnesses, parties and experts, deciding on arbitrators’ remuneration in case it was not decided upon by the parties by way of agreement, keeping the arbitration court’s files.
The award of the court of arbitration makes a valid and final decision on the dispute, it also makes an enforceable title. After the state court has ascertained the enforceability of the award, the award becomes legally valid as much as the settlement is.
To some extent, common courts exercise control of awards given by courts of arbitration and settlements concluded before these courts.
The control is effected in the proceedings in connection with the enforceability by means of examination of the case files and the contents of the award (settlement) as to their concordance with the rules of social co-existence and the rule of law. The control is also exercised by way of examination of the petition for the reversal of the award as to the existence of the arbitration clause, its validity or ceasing to be effective, the possibility of defending one’s rights by both parties to the proceedings, the observance of the procedure before the court of arbitration as agreed by the parties or provided for in the law, particularly the provisions on the composition of the court, the voting, the disqualification of a judge and the award, the clarity of the ruling on the requests of the parties, the existence of contradictions, potential infringement to the rule of law or to the rules of social co-existence, the existence of reasons which form the basis for the petition for reopening of the proceedings.
The list of permanent courts of arbitration acting in the Republic of Poland and their addresses and telephone numbers can be found on the Polish Courts of Arbitration’s Association’s website.
Permanent consumer courts of arbitration examine disputes concerning property rights resulting from contracts of sale of products and of the provision of services, concluded between consumers and entrepreneurs.
The legal basis for the functioning of permanent consumer courts is provided for in Article 37 of the Act of 15 December 2000 on the Commercial Inspection (‘Inspekcja Handlowa’) (Journal of Laws of 2001 No 4, item 25, as subsequently amended). Permanent consumer courts of arbitration are set up to operate by the voivodeship inspectorates of the Commercial Inspection.
The procedure has been regulated in the Regulation of the Minister of Justice of 25 September 2001 on the rules for the organisation of activity of permanent consumer courts of arbitration (Journal of Laws No 113, item 1214). These rules determine the internal organisation of permanent courts of arbitration, mode of functioning as well as jurisdictional and administrative acts. For the aspects that have not been regulated the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure apply. Permanent arbitrators for these courts are in equal numbers appointed by organisations representing consumers and organisations representing entrepreneurs, where at least one third of them should have a university degree in law.
The proceeding is instituted upon the motion from an entrepreneur or a consumer and is applicable if, after the service of a copy of the motion has been effected, the other party declares that it agrees that the dispute be heard by the court referred to in the motion.
Each party may appoint one arbitrator from the list of arbitrators and if the parties do not make statements with this regard the arbitrator is appointed ex officio. The third member of the bench – super-arbitrator is elected by the President of the court. The super-arbitrator is obliged to persuade parties to reconciliation. Depending on circumstances, the evidence proceeding is conduced at the hearing. In cases when special knowledge of the quality of products or services is required, the court may summon a specialist to act as an expert. The hearing is public. Having closed the hearing and having held an in camera deliberation, the Court decides on the case by issuing an award.
The award of the court of arbitration, as well as the settlement concluded before the court of arbitration, constitute an enforceable title and after their enforceability had been ascertained by the state court they bring the same effect as the state court’s judgement or a court settlement, accordingly. The case files are kept with the court of arbitration and extended to the common court upon its request.
Common courts exercise control of awards issued by permanent consumer courts of arbitration within the proceedings in connection with the enforceability and through the examination of petitions for the reversal of the award of the court of arbitration. The scope of that control is analogous to the regulation concerning courts of arbitration, referred to above.
The proceeding is instituted upon the consumer’s petition. A consumer is a natural person concluding a contract with the bank for the purpose not related to business activity. The petition may relate to the dispute with the bank that is a member to the Polish Banks’ Association (‘Związek Banków Polskich’) or with the bank that is not a member to the Association but it has declared that it subjects itself to the Bank’s Arbitrator’s decisions and to the enforcement of his awards.
The proceeding is not governed by the commonly binding legal regulations, it is in force by virtue of the Resolution XII of the Polish Banks’ General Assembly.
The discussed proceeding may be applied for the purpose of resolving disputes that bear the characteristics of monetary claims on account of non-performance or improper performance of banking acts or other acts on behalf of a customer by a bank, where the value of the subject matter of the disputes does not exceed 8,000 zlotys and they arose after 1 July 2001. Cases relating to the performances from the State Treasury, particularly those relating to housing savings books and credits subsided from the budget.
The petition for the institution of the proceedings is lodged in a written form with the Bank’s Arbitrator’s Office or it is sent to his address by mail. The document certifying the conclusion of the complaint proceedings in the bank or a consumer’s statement that he has not received a reply to his complaint from the bank within 30 days must be attached to the petition.
The charge for the petition is 50 zlotys and when the value of the subject matter of the dispute is lower than 50 zlotys the charge is 20 zlotys. In the case the bank loses the case it is obliged to reimburse the charge paid by the consumer. In his award, a bank’s arbitrator may not adjudicate the costs of legal representation.
A bank’s arbitrator is appointed by virtue of the Resolution of the Polish Banks’ Association’s Management Board. His office is based in Warsaw. The bank’s arbitrator should, at any stage of the proceedings, persuade the bank and the consumer to conclude a settlement, he is obliged to explain to the consumer any legal doubts that arose in connection with the case in a comprehensible way. If there is no possibility of concluding a settlement, the bank’s arbitrator issues a judgement at an in camera sitting and, if necessary, after the hearing has been held. A settlement concluded before the bank’s arbitrator also takes a form of a judgement, but it contains a notice that it has been issued as a result of a settlement. The bank considers the bank’s arbitrator’s judgements final. The bank is obliged to execute the arbitrator’s judgement within 14 days of the date of receiving its copy. A consumer that is not satisfied with the decision may refer the case to be examined in judicial proceedings.
This kind of proceedings is applicable upon the request of the “Holder,” in case the parties have not made an arbitration clause. A “Holder” is a natural person, a legal person or other entity that, pursuant to the agreement on the electronic instrument of payment, makes on his/its behalf and to his/its benefit operations as referred to in the agreement. The defendant may object to the application of the discussed procedure to the case not later than as in response to the action.
Regulation in the commonly binding legal provisions has been limited to the establishment of the possibility of applying the discussed proceedings and to the identification of competent courts. This regulation can be found in the Act of 12 September 2002 on electronic instruments of payment (Journal of Laws No 169, item 1385) as well as in the Regulation of 24 September 2002 on the determination of courts of arbitration competent to examine the cases in connection with issuing and using the electronic instruments of payment (Journal of Laws No 175, item 1703 of 2003).
Cases in connection with issuing and using electronic instruments of payment can be resolved by way of the discussed proceedings. Two permanent courts of arbitration are competent to examine the disputes under these proceedings: the Court of Arbitration acting by the Polish Banks’ Association and the Court of Arbitration by the National Economic Chamber (‘Krajowa Izba Gospodarcza’) in Warsaw.
The procedure has been regulated in the provisions of the Act of 10 July 1999 on Public Procurement (Journal of Laws No 72, item 664 of 2002) as well as in the Regulation of 14 June 2002 on the Rules for the procedure applied for the examination of appeals in cases in connection with public procurement (Journal of Laws No 85, item 772).
The discussed procedure is applied to the disputes concerning the supplier, the performer or supplier or performer employers’ and entrepreneurs’ organisations on the one hand and the ordering party on the other. The appeal can be lodged on the decision on or on the refusal of the ordering party’s protest, or in the event the protest has not been examined in due time. The subjects concerned are those, the legal interest of which was prejudiced as a result of the infringement, by the ordering party, of the public procurement rules referred to in the Act.
The binding provisions contain a number of regulations aiming at ensuring that the decision on the dispute is compliant with the law. The appeal is examined by a team of three arbitrators selected by the President of the Office for Public Procurement out of the list that he keeps. While examining the appeal the arbitrator does not represent any of the participants to the proceedings, nor does he represent the President of the Office. Only a person who, apart from satisfying a number of other requirements, has passed the examination on the knowledge of the provisions constituting the public procurement system and has taken an oath can be put in the arbitrators’ list.
The party may lodge an appeal in person. A lawyer, if one has been appointed for the case, is an agent for litigation.
The appeal is lodged with the President of the Office for Public Procurement, lodgement of an appeal with the Polish public operator’s post office is equivalent to its lodgement with the President of the Office.
The case is initially examined at the sitting and later at the public hearing. In the event of an improper notification of the date of the sitting (hearing) the participant’s failure to appear does not hamper the examination of the case. Evidential proceedings may be conducted at the hearing. It is possible to produce evidence ex officio. The team of arbitrators, upon the request of the participant to the proceedings, excludes the publicness of the case in whole or in part if the party to the proceedings provides reliable arguments that while examining the appeal it would be possible to reveal the information, the disclosure of which would violate the enterprise’s secrecy within the meaning of the provisions on combating unfair competition. In the event the publicness of the case was excluded, only parties to the proceedings, their representatives and agents are present at the hearing.
The proceeding is payable. The parties pay the costs of the proceeding accordingly to the results. The current cost of the entry of the appeal is 5,423 zlotys. The costs of the proceedings include the costs carried by the Office for Public Procurement, which comprise remuneration for the acts of arbitrators and their justified expenses as well as expenses and charges in connection with organisational and technical acts performed, where the amount paid for the entry is included in these costs. In the event that final costs are lower or higher than the amount paid for the entry, they are reimbursed or there arises an obligation to pay them to the benefit of the Office for Public Procurement, respectively. Moreover, the costs of the proceedings include justified costs of the participants to the proceedings, in the amount determined pursuant to the bills included in the case files, including the amount paid for the entry.
The team of arbitrators, in its judgement, decides on the acceptance or on the refusal of the appeal as well as on the costs. Accepting the appeal, the team of arbitrators may order the performance or repeating the act by the ordering party, or it may invalidate it, with the exception of the signature of a contract. The parties to the appeal proceedings may lodge a complaint on the judgement of the team of arbitrators with the Circuit Court (‘sąd okręgowy’) in Warsaw, through the intermediary of the President of the Office for Public Procurement. Also the President of the Office for Public Procurement may lodge a complaint on the judgement.
The possibility of hearing the case in that kind of proceedings results from the provisions of the Act of 17 May 1989 on Chambers of Physicians (Journal of Laws No 30, item 158, as subsequently amended). As to the remaining part, the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure concerning arbitration proceedings are applicable accordingly.
The case is to be heard before the physicians’ court as a court of arbitration upon the written consent of the parties.
Disputes in connection with the performance of the profession of a physician, between physicians and between physicians and other health service employees, as well as between physicians and other persons from or institutions of the health service may be heard in the proceeding before the physicians’ court as a court of arbitration. Thus it involves cases in connection with property rights, e.g. for the reparation of damage caused by the mistake in the medical craft, cases in connection with non-property rights, e.g. disputes between physicians concerning the elimination of the non-property effects of mutual disloyal behaviours, a patient’s claims for the provision of complete information concerning the diagnosis of his disease and the prognosis, as well as cases in connection with the relation of employment, e.g. a physician’s claim for the recognition of the termination of the contract for employment as ineffective and for reinstating to work.
The proceeding is conducted before circuit (‘okręgowy’) physicians’ courts. The organisation and composition of circuit physicians’ courts have been regulated in the provisions of the Regulation of the Minister of Health and Social Welfare of 26 September 1990 on the proceedings relating to the professional liability of physicians. The bench is appointed by the President of the court, thus the parties have no discretion as to the choice of arbitrators.
Any person enjoying full capacity of legal acts may be a party’s agent for litigation in these proceedings. The assistance of a lawyer is not obligatory.
It seems that regulations concerning civil proceedings apply accordingly to judgements concerning the costs of the proceeding, thus the physicians’ court, in its judgement, adjudicates on the costs in accordance with the circumstances of the case, pursuant to the principle of liability for the result of the dispute, of the proportional division of the costs or of reasonability. There are no obstacles for the parties to conclude an agreement as to the settlement of costs. Judge’s remuneration and reimbursement of his expenses is regulated in the agreement between the parties. In case there is no such agreement, the amount of remuneration and reimbursement of expenses is decided upon by a common court.
Statements made by both parties before the physicians’ court, concerning their consent to hearing the case before the court of arbitration stops the run of the limitation period. The parties themselves may determine the procedure, and if they do not do so, the physicians’ court examining the case will do it at its discretion. It also depends on the discretion of the physicians’ court whether the sitting is to be held public or just with the presence of the parties and their agents.
Arbitration proceedings before the physicians’ courts always take place in one instance and are ended in passing a judgement. The effects of the judgement and the procedure after the judgement has been passed, as well as the common courts’ acts as to the control and supervision of the physicians’ court’s judgement are analogous to these in the case of proceedings before the court of arbitration.
The possibility of hearing the case in these kind of proceedings results from the provisions of the Act of 21 December 1990 on the profession of veterinarians and physicians and on veterinarians’ chambers (single text as in Journal of Laws No 187, item 1567 of 2002). The provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure concerning arbitration proceedings apply to the remaining part accordingly.
The case is to be heard before the physicians and veterinarians’ court as an arbitration court upon the written consent from the parties.
Disputes between veterinarians and between veterinarians and other veterinarian institutions’ employees, as well as between veterinarians and other persons or institutions if these disputes concern the performance of the veterinarian profession, may be heard in the proceeding before the physicians and veterinarians’ court as a court of arbitration.
Proceedings are held before circuit (‘okręgowy’) physicians and veterinarians’ courts.
As to the remaining part, the proceeding is analogous to the arbitration proceeding before physicians’ courts.
The possibility of hearing the case in that kind of proceeding results from the provisions of the Act of 19 April 1991 on the pharmacists’ chambers (single text as in Journal of Laws No 9, item 108 of 2003). The provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure concerning arbitration proceedings apply to the remaining part accordingly.
The case is to be heard before the pharmacists’ court as an arbitration court upon the written consent from the parties.
Disputes between pharmacists and between pharmacists and other health service employees, as well as between pharmacists and other persons or institutions if these disputes concern the performance of the pharmacist’s profession, may be heard in the proceeding before the pharmacists’ court as a court of arbitration.
Proceedings are held before circuit (‘okręgowy’) pharmacists’ courts.
As to the remaining part, the proceeding is analogous to the arbitration proceeding before physicians’ courts.
The possibility of hearing the case in that kind of proceeding results from the provisions of the Act of 19 April 1991 on the nurses and midwives’ self-government (single text as in Journal of Laws No 41, item 178). The provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure concerning arbitration proceedings apply to the remaining part accordingly.
The case is to be heard in the discussed proceedings upon the written consent from the parties.
Disputes between nurses and midwives, between nurses and midwives and other health service employees or institutions, as well as between nurses and midwives and other persons, if these disputes concern the performance of the profession of a nurse or a midwife, may be heard in the proceeding before the nurses and midwives’ self-government’s court as a court of arbitration.
Proceedings are held before circuit (‘okręgowy’) nurses and midwives’ self-government’s courts.
As to the remaining part, the proceeding is analogous to the arbitration proceeding before physicians’ courts.
The possibility of hearing the case in that kind of proceeding results from the provisions of the Act of 15 December 2000 on the architects, building engineers and town-planners’ professional self-government (Journal of Laws No 5, item 42 of 2001). The provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure concerning arbitration proceedings apply to the remaining part accordingly.
The case is to be heard before the architects, building engineers and town-planners’ professional self-government court as an arbitration court upon the motion from the member of the chamber and upon the written consent from all the parties.
Disputes between members of architects, building engineers and town-planners’ chambers, as well as between members of these chambers and other subjects, if these disputes concern the performance of an independent technical function in the building industry or of the profession of a town-planner, may be heard in the proceedings.
Proceedings are held before circuit (‘okręgowy’) architects, building engineers and town-planners’ professional self-governments’ courts.
Mediation proceeding is necessary before going on strike. The proceeding has been regulated in the provisions of the Act of 23 May 1991 on the resolution of collective disputes (Journal of Laws No 55, item 236) as well as in the Regulation of 16 August 1991 on the procedure before misdemeanour courts of social arbitration (Journal of Laws No 73, item 324).
A mediator is appointed jointly by the parties to the collective dispute, possibly from amongst the persons in the list determined by the Minister of Employment and Social Policy. If there is no agreement, a mediator is appointed by the Minister of Employment and Social Policy, out of the list.
The costs of mediation proceedings, which comprise mediator’s remuneration and the reimbursement of the expenses, are borne by the parties to the collective dispute in equal amounts, unless they agree otherwise. In the event of the absence of funds, officially proven by the parties, the costs of the mediation are covered by the Minister of Employment and Social Policy.
If it is necessary to establish the economic and financial position of the place of employment for the purpose of the claim subject to the dispute, the mediator may propose to obtain an expert’s appraisement in this respect. The costs of the expert appraisement are borne by the place of employment, unless the agreement stipulates otherwise.
A mediation proceeding is concluded with signing an agreement by the parties, and if there is no agreement – with drawing the record of disaccord containing the positions of the parties. These acts are performed with the participation of a mediator.
Failure to reach an agreement solving the collective dispute in mediation proceedings authorises going on strike.
The subject that leads the collective dispute on behalf of employees may, without exercising the right to go on strike, undertake the attempt to resolve the dispute by means of subjecting it to the decision of the board of social arbitration.
Dispute in the place of employment is heard by the board of social arbitration acting by the circuit court (‘sąd okręgowy’) in which there is a labour and social insurance court. A dispute involving many places of employment is heard by the Board of Social Arbitration (‘Kolegium Arbitrażu Społecznego’) operating by the Supreme Court.
The board’ judgement is passed with the majority of votes. If none of the parties, before the dispute has been subjected to the decision of the board, decides otherwise, this judgement is binding for the parties.
Mediation proceeding in criminal matters has been regulated in Article 23a of the Code of Criminal Procedure and in the Regulation of the Ministry of Justice of 13 June 2003 on Mediation proceedings in criminal matters (Journal of Laws No 108, item 1020).
A court, and in preparatory proceedings a prosecutor, may upon the initiative of or upon the permission from the injured and the accused, refer the case to a trustworthy institution or person for the purpose of conducting mediation proceeding between the injured and the accused. Mediation proceeding should not last longer than one month.
In the proceedings, a mediator establishes contact with the injured and the suspected or the accused, arranges individual meetings and a mediation meeting with them, he assists in the formulating of the contents of the settlement and checks whether the obligations that arose from it are fulfilled.
After having conducted mediation proceeding, a mediator lodges a report on its course and results.
The costs of mediation proceedings are borne by the State Treasury.
The positive effects of the conducted mediation are taken into account by the court while administering the penalty.
Moreover, the positive results of mediation provide for the grounds enabling to omit the prohibition of applying a conditional discontinuance of the proceedings in relation to perpetrators of petty offences subject to the penalty higher than 3 years of imprisonment, by increasing that maximum limit to 5 years.
If it is possible due to the nature of the case, the voivodeship inspector from commercial inspection undertakes mediation acts for the purpose of amicable conclusion of a civil law dispute between a consumer and an entrepreneur.
The mediation proceeding is instituted upon a consumer’s motion or ex officio, if the protection of a consumer’s interests so requires.
In the mediation proceeding, the voivodeship inspector from commercial inspection makes the entrepreneur acquainted with the consumer’s claim, informs the parties to the dispute of the legal provisions applicable to the case and proposals of possible solutions of an amicable conclusion of the dispute.
Resignation from the mediation proceedings takes place when the case has not been amicably concluded within a specified time and if at least one party declares that it does not agree to the amicable conclusion of the case.
The proceeding is instituted upon the motion, before the proceedings in front of the Court of Arbitration or before a common court are commenced. It may be conducted if the other party so agrees. It may help to decide the disputes concerning property rights of international and domestic nature that have arisen in connection with a certain legal relation resulting from an agreement or not.
Any declarations, explanations and proposals made by the parties during the proceeding in connection with the possibility of an amicable conclusion of the dispute may not be referred to and taken into account in arbitration proceedings, unless the parties decide otherwise.
The motion is charged with a registration fee. Moreover, the proceeding is charged with a mediation payment resulting from a tariff for the acts of the Court of Arbitration acting by the National Economic Chamber (‘Krajowa Izba Gospodarcza’ – KIG).
The parties appoint a mediator out of the list run by the Court. If the parties do not appoint a mediator, he is appointed by the President of the Court. A mediator organises a conciliatory meeting. The mediator may contact the parties before the meeting. During the meeting the mediator proposes an amicable settlement of the dispute to the parties.
If the mediator succeeds in persuading the parties to conclude a settlement, he draws up a record, in which the conditions and contents of the settlement are stated. The record is signed by the parties and by the mediator.
Upon a unanimous motion from the parties, a judgement may be issued pursuant to the settlement concluded. In such a case it makes a final resolution.
Last update: 16-08-2005