case law

id : 20588

id: 20588

Polish Supreme Court judgment

 dated 15 June 2021

Case No. III CSKP 102/21

Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:

A., a limited liability company, based in K. and A., a joint-stock company, based in D., filed a petition to set aside an arbitration award delivered by the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce in W. The Court of Appeal dismissed the petition. Then the both companies filed a cassation appeal, but the Polish Supreme Court found the cassation appeal meritless.

It is worth noting that in this judgment the Polish Supreme Court made a reference to, among other things, the following rulings of the Polish Supreme Court: dated 21 December 1973, Case No. I CR 663/73, dated 27 May 1998, Case No. I CKN 709/97, dated 11 May 2007, Case No. I CSK 82/07, dated 12 September 2007, Case No. I CSK 192/07, dated 6 March 2008, Case No. I CSK 445/07, dated 30 September 2010, Case No. I CSK 342/10, dated 11 October 2013, Case No. I CSK 769/12, dated 15 May 2014, Case No. II CSK 557/13, dated 26 May 2017, Case No. I CSK 464/16, dated 8 November 2018, Case No. II CSK 481/18.

Excerpts from the text of the court ruling:

1. [T]he state court cannot, within the proceedings to set aside an arbitration award, settle a dispute on the merits between the parties to the arbitration proceedings… .

2. Only a violation of substantive legal norms, causing an arbitration award to result in a clear violation of the overriding principles of the legal order or in a conflict with particular principles of social coexistence may constitute a violation of the principles of the rule of law.

3. [R]eview of compliance of an arbitration award with the public policy clause is not of an appeal character and cannot replace it, because it would be contrary to the essence of arbitration, would render its existence aimless, and would be contrary to the autonomy of the will of the parties who have submitted their dispute to the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal, resigning from the jurisdiction of a state court.

4. Violation by an arbitral tribunal of substantive law provisions, i.e. an incorrect interpretation or misapplication thereof does not per se constitute a violation of the rule of law… .

5. It is impossible to draw from the assumption that the provisions on limitation of claims serve the purpose of certainty of the conduct of legal transactions and such a certainty is within the interest of the legal order in general, a conclusion that the set of rules governing limitation of claims constitutes, as a whole, a part of the fundamental principles of the legal order and any misinterpretation thereof leads to a contradiction with the ordre public clause.

6. Violation of a mandatorily binding provision is not … tantamount to a violation of the fundamental principles of the legal order… .

7. [I]n proceedings regarding an arbitration award, the state court is not authorized to make an assessment whether the claim has been time-barred, if this has been assessed by the arbitral tribunal.

8. [G]ross disregard of the principles of interpretation of declarations of will indicated in Art.  65 of the Polish Civil Code may constitute a basis for a petition to set aside an arbitration award, if the arbitral tribunal finds that the evidence relied on to prove the parties’ intention was irrelevant and conducts only an analysis of the wording of the contract, because materialization of the principle of the autonomy of the will of the parties is not possible without the application of the appropriate criteria of assessment of declarations of will made by the parties… . However, the review of the interpretation of declarations of will of the parties made by an arbitral tribunal, in case of properly conducted evidence proceedings, cannot be subject to review in the course of proceedings initiated by a petition to set aside an arbitration award.

9. The inability to abandon a comprehensive clarification of the circumstances of the case shall be understood primarily as an obligation to conduct arbitration proceedings in a way which enables the parties to submit all statements and evidence and – under the principle of their equal treatment – to respond to the statements and evidence submitted by the opposing party. The requirements for conducting evidence proceedings by an arbitral tribunal cannot be stricter than those applicable to a state court, all the more so that an arbitral tribunal does not dispose of coercive measures which are often necessary for effective examination of evidence. The audi alterem partem principle and the availability principle apply also in arbitration. An arbitral tribunal cannot take into account facts not indicated by the parties or apply the presumption of truthfulness of the claimant’s allegations in the event of the claimant’s failure to appear at the hearing, or deem undisputed facts to be true… .

10. [T]he matter of correct application of intertemporal norms per se does not constitute a violation of the public policy clause… .

11. [T]he mere issue of the interest rate cannot constitute a violation of the public policy clause.

12. [E]xamining evidence in the form of documents contained in the arbitration files is not a sine qua non condition of assessment of allegations raised in a petition to set aside an arbitration award… . The need to request such files shall be assessed in the circumstances of a particular case.

13. Hearing a petition to set aside an arbitration award, the state court does not have an obligation to conduct evidence proceedings ex officio… .

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