International Commercial Arbitration in Poland
Arbitration is the judicial settlement of commercial disputes between firms subject to equality of arms (lack of state, public-authority subordination). Commercial arbitration is not included in the structure of state power, a case can be considered in arbitration only by agreement of the parties or if there is an arbitration clause in the contract (a clause that provides for the consideration of a possible dispute in the future by a specific arbitration court).
Arbitration is established by institutions of self-organization of business, financed by business, which provides for unconditional trust in arbitration and the indisputable fairness and legality of its decisions. In addition, the lack of government procedures and an interest in a quick and high-quality review of the case makes arbitration the most attractive when considering economic disputes.
In Poland there is no division into international and domestic arbitration and this area is regulated by a single legislative act. In 2005, Poland adopted a new arbitration law, which is the fifth part of the Code of Civil Procedure (hereinafter - Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Poland). The law defines the institution of autonomy of the will of the parties, reinforced the position of arbitration courts in the legal system, and more efficient enforcement of arbitral awards. Disputes whose parties are in different national jurisdictions may be considered in the Arbitration Court at the Polish Chamber of Commerce. The judicial branch in Poland is practically independent of the other branches of government, therefore the consideration of cases by the courts is really fair and legal, the political situation in no way affects decisions.
The decisions of the arbitration are indisputable, since their binding is regulated by law. The parties have the right to authorize the arbitration to make a decision as amiable compositeurs, which is of particular importance in the resolution of specific disputes, as well as disputes between counterparties with established commercial ties. The concept of amiable compositeurs is accepted by almost all countries of the European Union, including Poland.
In Poland, the right of the parties to conclude an arbitration agreement by including it in the constituent documents of the company is positively established at the legislative level. The law protects the rights of the defendant who suffered losses as a result of interim measures. To this end, the defendant is entitled to demand compensation from the plaintiff.
A motion to set aside an arbitral award cannot be filed after three months from the date of receipt of the arbitral award by the party declaring the motion, and if a request was made to correct the errors made in the decision, to interpret any part of the decision or make an additional decisions - from the day the arbitral tribunal makes a decision on this request. At the same time, if the arbitral award, obtained by criminal means on the basis of a falsified or transformed document, is disputed, or a final court decision was made in the same case between the same parties, the deadline for filing a request to cancel the arbitral award begins on the day when the party became aware of such grounds. At the same time, the party does not have the right to demand the cancellation of any of the listed decisions after five years after the party received the decision.
The procedure for recognizing and enforcing a foreign arbitral award will be subject to the rules established by section VIII of part V of the Civil Procedure Code of the Republic of Poland “Recognition and Enforcement of a Decision of an Arbitration Court or Amicable Agreement Concluded in an Arbitration Procedure” apply to all arbitral awards and amicable agreements, regardless from the place of their adoption or approval by the arbitral tribunal. The procedure for recognizing and enforcing a foreign arbitral award or settlement agreement, according to the Law, has certain specifics, since the Law in this case provides a wider range of grounds for refusing recognition or enforcement as compared to the list of grounds for decisions and settlement agreements imposed and imprisoned in the territory of the Republic of Poland. In addition, the New York Convention will also apply to foreign arbitral awards. It should be noted that the Polish doctrine adheres to the territorial theory when determining the nationality of the arbitral award (as opposed to the procedural one, according to which the decisive role is played by the procedural law applicable to the arbitration procedure). Thus, an arbitral award made outside the territory of the Republic of Poland is considered foreign and a domestic decision is made in Poland, even if the proceedings themselves took place outside of it. The Polish Law in Chapter VIII regulates the recognition and enforcement of not only an arbitral award, but also a settlement agreement concluded by the participants in the arbitral proceedings, including foreign ones.