1. The consequence of submitting a dispute to arbitration is the limitation of the influence of common courts on how the dispute is resolved. When considering a petition to set aside an arbitration award, state courts do not examine arbitration awards on the merits. They review them only to a limited extent – only as regards the conditions provided for in Art. 1206 of the PCPC.
2. Only the absolutely binding legal standards (ius cogens) – and only those that are deemed to be of fundamental importance – may justify resorting to the public policy clause. These may be standards of a systematic, substantive or procedural nature – however, their role in the national legal system has to be significant. Application of the public policy clause is not intended to correct any and all shortcomings of an arbitration award, but rather to protect the integrity of the public order. Therefore, the assessment whether there are grounds for applying the public policy clause need to be formulated ad casum in a restrictive manner… .
3. In particular, it is not the task of the state court to inspect whether an arbitration award has been founded on the facts relied upon in the reasons for the arbitration award and whether these facts have been properly determined… .
4. The public policy clause, according to Art. 1206 § 2 of the PCPC, has the character of a general clause. Therefore, its concretization is the task of courts… . Because of the indefiniteness of the public policy clause, judges enjoy considerable discretion. Moreover, taking into account that an arbitration award is an expression of specific will of the persons competent to resolve a dispute, the clause is to be a kind of “safety valve” protecting the legal system against the unacceptable consequences of functioning, in the legal circulation, of an arbitration award delivered in violation of the fundamental principles of the legal order.
5. Only an allegation (or threat) of violation of the public policy clause may justify review of an arbitration award on merits.
6. The fundamental… principles [of the legal system of the Republic of Poland – insertion added] shall be understood to mean constitutional principles as well as the principles of other fields of law including civil law, family law, labour law and procedural law… .
7. The following principles are accepted by the doctrine and the case-law as the fundamental principles of the legal order: with regard to the procedural law, among other things: the principle of equal treatment of the parties; and with regard to the substantive law, among other things: the principle of the restitutive nature of liability for damages, the principle of the autonomy of the will of the parties and the principle of equity of the entities, the pacta sunt servanda principle, the principle of equal treatment of creditors in arrangement proceedings, the principle of economic freedom. Referring to the procedural legal order, it should be emphasized that two issues are assessed: firstly – the legal compliance of the arbitration resulting in the delivery of an arbitration award, and secondly – the effects of the arbitration award after its recognition and enforcement from the point of view of consistency with the system of procedural law, including the effects of the award on the legal position of third parties. Nevertheless, in terms of substantive legal order, review of an arbitration award should consist in comparison of the ruling contained in the arbitration award with a hypothetical ruling which should be delivered account taken of the fundamental principles of the legal order. It is then only by confronting it with the arbitrators' award that it is possible to assess whether or not there has been a breach of public policy. Any finding of contradiction is not sufficient, but only such that involves a violation of the fundamental values (principles) which are expressed or protected by specific legal standards.
8. A state court ruling on recognition (enforcement) of another award cannot overlook the fact that another state court has already delivered a ruling in the same case. Therefore, it should be found that it follows from Art. 365 § 1 of the PCPC that by the state court ruling on recognition of the second arbitration award which is bound by the previous state court ruling, should not allow for the existence of two rulings in the legal circulation which, in the same case and between the same parties, would address the same issue differently, as this would undermine the authority of the justice system and the confidence in the courts, i.e. it would be contrary to the fundamental principles of the legal order of the Republic of Poland.