1. Between the arbitral tribunal ruling again on the basis of the same arbitration clause (Civil Procedure Code Art. 1211) following setting aside of the previous award under Civil Procedure Code Art. 1205 et seq., and the court that granted the application to set aside the award, there is not a relation analogous to that between the courts of first and second instance in the structure of the state courts. The Civil Procedure Code does not adopt the construction encountered in some legal systems in which a state court granting an application to set aside an arbitration award can remand the case to the arbitral tribunal for reconsideration. The arbitrators’ duties generally last until issuance of the arbitration award (Civil Procedure Code Art. 1199); granting of the application results in setting aside the award, while the further proceedings depend on the decisions of the parties, provided however that the arbitration clause remains in force unless the parties agreed otherwise (Civil Procedure Code Art. 1211). A consequence of this is that there is no room for the arbitral tribunal to be bound by the legal evaluation or directions as to the further proceedings, in line with the rule adopted in Civil Procedure Code Art. 386 §6, and this state of affairs was not changed by the amendment of Civil Procedure Code Art. 1207 made by the Act of 10 September 2015 Amending Certain Acts to Support Amicable Dispute Resolution Methods (Journal of Laws Dz.U. 2015 item 1595), calling for application by analogy of regulations on appeals in proceedings on an application to set aside an arbitration award.
2. The fact that the legal evaluation is not binding as it would be in the model of appellate review does not mean that the findings and legal views expressed in the judgment of the state court granting an application to set aside an arbitration award are irrelevant to the arbitral tribunal considering the case anew; the arbitral tribunal must take the judgment into account and draw the relevant conclusions from it within its general obligation to seek an award that will not be subject to being set aside pursuant to review by the state court. The possibility of indirectly instructing the arbitral tribunal by the court considering an application to set aside an arbitration award is provided for only in Civil Procedure Code Art. 1209, but this provision is exceptional, and considering the autonomy of arbitration it cannot serve as the source of generalizations.
3. Guided by the assumption of the complementarity and equal importance of both aspects of substantive legal finality, as well as purposive considerations, the position should be approved that [Civil Procedure Code Art. 1206 §1(6)] also covers the case where an arbitration award is issued in violation of the binding legal finality of a court judgment. Leaving aside the question of whether in this state of affairs the conflict between the arbitration award and the judgment of a state court can be reviewed pursuant to the public policy clause or must be pleaded in the grounds for cassation as a violation of Civil Procedure Code Art. 1206 §1(6), such a conflict can be said to exist only when the arbitration award substantially interferes with the findings covered by the binding force of the state court judgment.
4. Submission of a case to the jurisdiction of an arbitration court removes the dispute between the parties from the jurisdiction of the state courts. The competence of the arbitral tribunal in this respect is not merely in the nature of a preliminary jurisdiction; to the contrary, pursuant to the parties’ intentions, the arbitral tribunal takes the place of the state court with the purpose of independent and complete resolution of the dispute between the parties. The autonomous position of arbitration as an alternative to the state courts means that the parties to the arbitration must expect that review of the arbitral tribunal’s resolution by the state court does not, and must not, constitute the equivalent of appellate review typical for the state court system. Such review, while necessary and universal in a comparative-law context, must serve first and foremost to eliminate abuses of arbitration and the most far-reaching violations, relevant not only from the perspective of the parties but also for the legal system in general.
5. The nature of the review exercised by the state courts over rulings by arbitral tribunals means that a possible error in interpretation of substantive law cannot per se lead to setting aside the arbitration award, unless the error would result in violation of a fundamental principle of the legal order.
6. One element of public policy is the general assumption of the need for stability of long-term states of facts, while the consequences of application of regulations realizing this assumption in specific situations essentially affect the individual interests of the parties, and possible errors in this respect are generally errors in interpretation, escaping the review of the state courts. This is how the view already expressed in the case law of the Supreme Court that an erroneous interpretation of regulations on the limitation on claims does not make an arbitration award inconsistent with fundamental principles of the legal order, should be understood.
7. Violation of a regulation of mandatory applicability is not tantamount to violation of fundamental principles of the legal order.
Publication date: 26-05-2017 | Case no.: I CSK 464/16Key issues: petition to set aside arbitration award