case law

id : 20000

id: 20000

Polish Supreme Court ruling

dated 27 March 1922

Case No. C 791/21

Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:

One of the parties challenged an award issued in an arbitration proceeding conducted in the summer of 1918 before a panel of nine arbitrators in Russian territory (subsequently eastern Poland) on the grounds that the submission to arbitration was invalid. The signatures of the two parties in the submission to arbitration were certified by a justice of the peace, but the signatures of the arbitrators accepting their appointment were not certified by the justice of the peace or by a notary. In 1921, the Court of Appeal of Eastern Lands denied the challenge on the grounds that the authenticity of the signatures of the arbitrators was not disputed.

On review by the Supreme Court of Poland, the court found that the appellate court had erred by considering the authenticity of the arbitrators’ signatures rather than the validity of the submission to arbitration as such. The court held that certification of the arbitrators’ signatures accepting their appointment by a notary or by a justice of the peace was a statutory condition for the validity of the submission to arbitration. Because this condition was not met, the submission to arbitration and the award issued on the basis of the submission to arbitration were invalid. The court vacated the decision of the appellate court accordingly.

Excerpt from the text of the court’s ruling:

Only certification by a notary or justice of the peace of the signatures of all the persons taking part in the arbitration court—that is, the signature of the parties as well as the arbitrators—gives solemn form to the submission to arbitration, and, as follows from that, transforms such deed from an ordinary writing into a submission to arbitration, pursuant to the common maxim that the form gives being to the thing (forma dat esse rei). In other words, in cases where the parliament requires certain strict forms in performing an act, the act itself exists only if such forms are observed.

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