“Good morning, Sir. I’m calling from the appellate court in X – you transferred 300 zloty. What’s that for please?”
“A court fee for the declaration of enforceability in Poland of a judgment of a foreign arbitration court.”
“Sir, we are the appellate court and recognize only appeals”
“No, from January 1st this year, the appellate courts will recognize also motions to set aside arbitration awards as well as the recognition of enforcement of judgments of foreign arbitration courts.”
“Oh, in that case, could you please tell me the court file number?”
“I cannot, because the motion only goes to you and once it arrives, you indicate the court file number.”
“Please call me if there are any problems.”
We submitted our first application for a declaration of enforceability of a judgment of a foreign court of arbitration in Poland to the appellate court. Under the act of 10 August 2015 on amendment of certain acts in relation to the promotion of amicable dispute resolution, such an application, and an application to set aside an arbitration award, should be referred to the appellate court. For decisions in such a case only a cassation can be filed. This is a breakthrough in Polish arbitration law. For years, the arbitration community endeavored to flatten post-arbitration proceedings. The reason for this was that one of the main advantages of arbitration, the speed, was bedeviled by the fact that after the ruling of the court of arbitration, the matter went to the state courts and passed two instances and possibly a cassation. On the whole, it was not shorter than the time that the common courts would have spent exclusively on such matter. For years it has been impossible to change this state of affairs. From important people, including the authorities, we have heard that the two instances which dealt with the judgment of the arbitration courts was a constitutional requirement (art. 176, section 1 of the Constitution). Complaints and arguments were heard practically at each arbitration conference. Among us who are involved in arbitration, some doubted that this could ever be changed. And yet it has. It took a determined government minister – Mr. Mariusz Haladyj, who pushed though the entire legislation process – and the matter is settled.
One of the main problems of Polish arbitration has been resolved. Now, we in the arbitration community have fewer and fewer arguments and excuses for the sluggish growth of arbitration in Poland.