Commercial disputes – A weak point of Polish courts
Almost 40% of judgements in commercial cases during the first semester of the previous year did not stand on appeal, as Polish Ministry of Justice figures indicate. This is very much to the detriment of business enterprises in that, for many of them, such an outcome may well mean the end of their operations. Accordingly, Polish businesspeople search for alternative means of dispute resolutions, and – increasingly often – this search leads them to arbitration.
According to the Ministry of Justice, during the first semester of the previous year 63.2% of judgements handed down by the general courts were upheld on appeal. In the category of social insurance cases, approximately 69.8% of decisions (the most) were upheld on appeal, and in civil cases (the lowest rate of success on appeal) – approximately 61.5%. The commercial cases category is also characterised by a high rate of overturn on appeal – here, what is known as the stability index for the first semester of 2018 was approximately 63.6%. Figures for all of 2018 have not been published yet, but the ones for 2017 were even less optimistic – almost 55% of judgements in commercial cases were overturned on appeal.
Dr Konrad Czech of Gessel, Koziorowski Sp.k. lists the advantages of arbitration, which include significantly better results as regards the number of overturned judgements. “Proceedings before arbitration tribunals are single-instance, meaning that the outcome is arrived at incomparably quicker than before the general courts. Apart from that, for the several hundred judgements handed down by Polish arbitration courts in an average year, only 40 or so are subsequently overturned by the general courts. An arbitration judgement is a sound product quality-wise”.
The full text of this article is available (in Polish) on raportcsr.pl (date of publication: 14 March 2019)