Polish Supreme Court order
dated 7 March 1979
Case No. III CRN 10/79
Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:
In 1974, spouses Antoni S. and Kazimiera S. entered into an agreement submitting to arbitration the dispute between them concerning elimination of the statutory marital estate and division of the marital assets between them. The same year, Antoni S. brought such a claim in arbitration against Kazimiera S., in which both parties participated, and the arbitration court issued an award eliminating the statutory marital estate, awarding the husband 2/3 of the assets and the wife 1/3 of the assets (consistent with the position taken by the parties), and assigning specific assets to each of the spouses.
The husband then applied to the Łódź County Court for issuance of an enforcement clause for the arbitration award. The wife did not oppose the motion. The court issued the enforcement clause.
Over four years later, the Minister of Justice sought extraordinary review by the Polish Supreme Court and moved to set aside the order of the county court. The Minister of Justice alleged inter alia that because the claim asserted in the arbitration would have been heard in the state court in a non-adversarial proceeding, it was not arbitrable, and that the court could not issue an enforcement clause for the arbitration award unless there were first a legally final ruling by the state court holding that the award was enforceable. The county court impermissibly joined these two matters in the same proceeding.
The Supreme Court denied the extraordinary review. The court held that because the review was sought more than 6 months after the order in question became legally final, relief could not be granted merely on the grounds that it grossly inconsistent with the law, but it was also required to show that it violated the interests of the People’s Republic of Poland. Although the procedure followed by the county court in joining the proceeding on enforceability of the award and issuance of an enforcement clause was inconsistent with the law, it did not rise to the level of a violation of the interests of the People’s Republic of Poland. Otherwise, the court held that disputes that would be heard by the state court in a non-adversarial proceeding are not per se non-arbitrable, but may be arbitrable so long as the legal grounds for arbitrability were met, which was the case here.
Excerpts from the text of the court’s ruling:
1. Which cases that are subject to consideration by the state courts may be submitted to arbitration is determined by the regulations governing arbitration proceedings.
2. Issuance of an enforcement clause must be preceded by a legally final ruling by the state court, pursuant to Civil Procedure Code Art. 711, confirming the enforceability of the arbitration award.
3. The only cases falling under the non-adversarial procedure that may be heard by an arbitration court are those rather rare cases whose nature allows for this, that is, those that meet the grounds [for arbitrability] provided in Civil Procedure Code Art. 697 §1.
4. Under current law, adversarial and non-adversarial proceedings are parallel tracks for judicial proceedings, and the non-adversarial procedure in property matters in which the court commences the proceeding upon application is not so different from the rules applicable in an adversarial proceeding that mere submission of a given matter to resolution through the non-adversarial procedure results in exclusion of the possibility of submitting such matter to an arbitration court for resolution.