Polish Supreme Court ruling
dated 24 May 1938
Case No. C II 2690/37
Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:
A teacher at a business school was fired from his job, and filed a claim in the state court against the association that operated the school. The association moved to dismiss the action on the grounds that the case was subject to arbitration. The parties had entered into a clause calling for arbitration of employment disputes by a panel comprising two arbitrators who were school administrators and two teachers at the school named by the employee, and those four arbitrators would then select an independent presiding arbitrator. On cassation appeal, the Polish Supreme Court held that the arbitration clause was invalid because it required appointment of arbitrators (on both sides) who were not impartial. The court amended the order below accordingly to deny the defence of the arbitration clause.
Excerpts from the text of the court’s ruling:
1. A party bound by an arbitration clause which in its opinion is invalid may file a case in the state court, which will take up the issue of the validity of the clause only if the other party, prior to joining issue on the merits, asserts as a defence that the case belongs in arbitration; otherwise, even a valid clause will cease to be in force (Civil Procedure Code Art. 235).
2. An arbitrator may be recused for the same reasons as a state court judge, who is recused if there is a personal relationship between the judge and a party raising justified doubts as to the judge’s impartiality.