Polish Supreme Court resolution
dated 20 February 1974
Case No. III CZP 2/74
Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:
A claim was asserted before the county court to deprive an enforceable writ, in the form of an arbitration award, of its enforceability, on the ground that the claims covered by the arbitration award were barred by the statute of limitations.
On appeal to the Warsaw Province Court, the court submitted a certified question to the Polish Supreme Court to determine whether a creditor’s application to the state court for confirmation of the enforceability of the award and for issuance of an enforcement clause for the award is an action taken before the court with the direct purpose of enforcing the claim, which would thus interrupt the running of the statute of limitations.
The Supreme Court issued a resolution holding that neither application by the creditor would interrupt the running of the statute of limitations.
Excerpts from the text of the court’s ruling:
1. A creditor’s application to the state court for confirmation of the enforceability of an arbitration award, as well as an application for issuance of an enforcement clause for the award, do not interrupt the running of the statute of limitations on the claims covered by the arbitration award.
2. The state court’s confirmation of the enforceability of an arbitration award and issuance of an enforcement clause for the award are two distinct actions by the court, made under separate procedures: namely, confirmation of enforceability occurs in a proceeding provided for in Part One, Book Three of the Civil Procedure Code, which governs the procedure before the arbitration court and before the state court in matters concerning arbitration awards, while issuance of an enforcement clause for an arbitration award occurs in an execution proceeding (Part Two, Book One of the Civil Procedure Code). Moreover, an enforcement clause may be issued only for an arbitration award as to which a legally final order of the state court confirming its enforceability has been issued pursuant to Civil Procedure Code Art. 711.
3. Arbitration, based on the agreement of the parties and carried out by arbitrators, persons trusted by the parties, who in performance of their voluntarily assumed obligations are generally constrained by procedural regulations to only a small degree, must of necessity be overseen by the state courts. Such oversight has to do on one hand with the correctness of the appointment of the arbitration court and the parties’ selection of the arbitrators, and on the other hand with the substance of the actual ruling by the arbitration court. By its nature, the review of the substance of the award cannot includes the very correctness or justice of the resolution, but is limited to whether the ruling was issued under conditions assuring the parties protection of their rights, and whether the resolution violates the rule of law or principles of social coexistence. Review of an arbitration award in the broadest sense is performed by a state court only upon request of a party, asserted in the form of a petition to set aside the arbitration award, as provided in Civil Procedure Code Art. 712 ff, limited in time and in the scope of grounds for challenging the award. However, review of the consistency of the award with principles of the rule of law and principles of social coexistence is made by the state court on its own motion, and the institution of confirmation of enforceability of the award serves this purpose.
4. An order confirming the enforceability of an arbitration award, although a necessary condition for permitting enforcement of the award through state compulsion, does not in itself constitute an act seeking to enforce the award. Thus asserting a demand for confirmation of enforceability is not among the acts undertaken “with the immediate purpose of enforcement, declaration or security” of the claim adjudged by the award within the meaning of Civil Code Art. 123 §1(1).