The history of arbitration is longer than the formal courts one and dates back to Vth BC. However, dynamic development of this form of alternative dispute resolutions begun in XX th century along with the creation of The International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. This body was to create the ground for swift and inexpensive dispute settlement between merchants.
Today’s Arbitration has become one of the most popular ways of dispute resolution. In Poland arbitration is regulated by the Code of Civil Procedures (Art. 1154-1217).
Arbitration aims at resolution of the dispute in a way which enables the parties to continue to conduct business with each other after the award. Among the most important advantages of arbitration the following should be listed: swiftness, high standard and flexibility of the procedure and relatively low costs.
Average time of arbitral court proceedings is around 6 months, but the award could be issued earlier, if both parties do not appoint experts and the priority is to resolve the dispute swiftly.
The arbitral tribunal is formed by Arbitrators (one or more) appointed by the parties from among the trusted people, having expertise in the field to which the dispute is related. Usually the list of Arbitrators, including their professional experience is published on the tribunal’s website, so it could be of use in choosing an Arbitrator who has both expertise and experience in a given field. The person appointed should be unbiased and independent from both parties.
The advantage of arbitral procedure is its informal character. Similar to the court of law, the arbitral tribunal investigates the matter during hearing, consider the evidence and hears the witnesses. In arbitration there are no time restrictions applicable to the evidence, although the chairman may establish a deadline after which no new evidence might be submit. Moreover the parties could establish rules of evidence hearing by themselves, e.g.: to assign their own experts and even interrogated them before the tribunal. The hearing itself is more like a confidential business meeting, attended only by the arbitrators along with the parties and their assignees. Neither the matter of dispute nor the proceeding’s outcome is revealed to third parties (the arbitrators are obliged to keep the confidentiality).
An arbitral award cannot be challenged. It can be set aside by the national court upon application by one of the parties, but it is quite difficult due to the limited ground of annulment stipulated by the article 1206 of the Code of Civil Procedures (among others: lack of arbitration clause in the contract or the award is in disaccord with the fundamental principles of law of the Republic of Poland). The arbitral awards are perceived by the parties as more just in the economic sense than the sentences of the courts, because the arbitrators are trusted, appointed by the parties and have an expertise in a given field of law.
Recognition and enforcement of the award
The court recognizes and ascertains the execution of arbitral award. This procedure is usually short and simple. The award is enforceable practically all around the world, as of now over 140 countries have adopted the New York Convention of 1958 which allows the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. After the court grants the award with enforcement clause, the execution proceeding could be started, unless the other party fulfills the award voluntarily.
The Court of Arbitration at the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan
The idea of compromissary dispute settlement between the entrepreneurs is implemented by the Court of Arbitration at the PCPE Lewiatan. It is a modern body having both international and regional rank aimed at swift settlement of property and corporate disputes.
In order to make the abovementioned Tribunal a competent one to it is necessary to introduce a special stipulation to the contract between the entrepreneurs (so called “Arbitration clause”), which enables the Tribunal to resolve the disputes arising from or in relation to the given contract. The parties are free to indicate the law of the contract (law of a given state, general rules of law or equity principles), the language of arbitration, the number of arbitrators (one or three) as well as add other requirements allowed by the Regulations of the Court.
The correct clause is as follows:
“All disputes arising from or in connection with the present contract shall be finally resolved under the Regulations of the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan in Warsaw, Poland by one or more arbitrators appointed in accordance with the said Regulations.”
For more information check: http://www.sadarbitrazowy.org.pl/