Polish Supreme Court resolution
dated 8 September 2011
Case No. III CZP 41/11
Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:
In an arbitration between two registered partnerships, one of the parties applied to the regional court for recusal of an arbitrator. The regional court denied the motion. The party filed an interlocutory appeal against the order with the court of appeal. The court of appeal was uncertain whether an interlocutory appeal lay from an order denying a motion to recuse an arbitrator, and submitted a certified question to the Polish Supreme Court. The Supreme Court issued a resolution holding that an interlocutory appeal does lie against an order by the state court of first instance denying a motion to recuse an arbitrator.
Excerpts from the text of the court’s ruling:
1. An interlocutory appeal will lie against an order by the state court, as the court of first instance, denying a motion to challenge an arbitrator.
2. The issue of the independence and impartiality of the arbitrator goes to the essence of the arbitration proceeding as a non-judicial procedure for resolving private legal disputes.
3. Impartiality is a certain intellectual attitude, a psychological state of an objective judge (or arbitrator). In opposition to this, partiality is a characteristic connected with a real or apparent biased attitude of the decision-maker in favour of one of the parties or with respect to the issues in dispute.
4. It is asserted in the literature that “independence” refers only to issues arising out of a relationship between the judge (or arbitrator) and one of the parties. Independence means the lack of any relationship between the arbitrator and the parties to the dispute, in the past or during the course of the proceeding, that could affect the substance of the decision.
5. If the deadline indicated in Civil Procedure Code Art. 1176 passes without effect, the party obtains a right to apply to the state court (within two weeks) to recuse the arbitrator.
6. The proceeding before the state court is conducted on the basis of the Civil Procedure Code. Thus the issue of the permissibility of an interlocutory appeal against the order of the state court denying the motion to recuse the arbitrator should be considered on the basis of application of Civil Procedure Code Art. 394 §1 as relevant.