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 OAC - Online Arbitration Court

O Sądzie


About Arbitration

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a method of resolving disputes alternative to common (state) courts. The parties to a dispute may submit it for resolution to arbitration courts. The typical characteristics of arbitration include fast pace and flexibility of procedures and possibility to select the adjudication panel. The arbitration court awards have equal power to common court judgements and may constitute an enforcement title both in the original state and abroad.

What are the alternative methods of dispute resolution?

The alternative methods of dispute resolution are the ways of resolving disputes using a third party other than state courts. They include, among others, arbitration, conciliation, mediation and good services, as well as variations and combinations thereof. In arbitration, a third party (usually a permanent arbitration court) issues an award in a case. In turn, in conciliation a third party suggests a solution to the parties which they may accept (and conclude a settlement) or reject. In mediation, parties to the dispute reach an understanding on their own, with the assistance of an impartial and neutral mediator (the mediator does not suggest the final solution). As for good services, the role of the third party is limited to facilitating dialogue between the parties. The above methods do not include negotiations, because, as a rule, they do not include a third party.

What is the difference between arbitration and mediation?

The arbitration court issues an enforceable award. The mediation outcome has the effect of a court decision only in the case of conclusion of a settlement by the parties. Therefore, in the latter case there is no element of coercion.

What are ADR and ODR?

ADR stands for alternative dispute resolution which includes the methods that are alternative to the state court system, such as arbitration, conciliation or mediation.
ODR stands for online dispute resolution. It includes the alternative methods of dispute resolution (such as arbitration, conciliation or mediation) conducted online.

What is eligibility for arbitration (arbitrability)?

Eligibility for arbitration means the given case may be resolved by an arbitration court.

What cases may be resolved by an arbitration court?

An arbitration court may resolve any and all the disputes for property or –on-property rights, in which it is possible to conclude a settlement (except for cases for alimony). This applies to the cases examined before common courts both in contentious and non-contentious proceedings. This means that almost any economic matter and most civil matters may be resolved through arbitration.

How to use arbitration?

In order to use arbitration, both parties have to consent to it. They usually include an arbitration clause in the agreement between them, indicating the arbitration court with competence for resolving any and all the disputes that may appear in the future. More and more entrepreneurs include arbitration clauses in templates of agreements with their suppliers and customers. The arbitration clause does not have to be an element to the agreement – it may constitute a separate document. The jurisdiction of a specific arbitration court may be specified in the letters or emails (and even text messages) exchanged between the parties.
It is also admissible to choose arbitration as the method of resolving a dispute after the dispute occurs. Then, the arbitration clause is called “compromise”.
If the parties do not have an arbitration clause but have a dispute, either party may initiate proceedings before an arbitration court. The other party will then be invited to it, but does not have to consent to it.
An arbitration clause may be included not only in agreements with suppliers or customers, but also in website regulations or in the articles of association or statute of a company.

Is the legal effectiveness of an arbitral award equal to that of a state court judgement?

Yes. In order to submit an arbitration court award to debt collection, you have to obtain an enforcement clause. In Poland, it is the appeal court, in the jurisdiction of which is located the court that would be proper for examining the case if the parties had not included an arbitration clause in their agreement, to confirm the enforcement of an arbitration court award or the settlement concluded before such a court. The party is obliged to submit an application with original award or settlement or a copy thereof certified by the arbitration court, as well as the original arbitration clause or an officially certified copy thereof. If the arbitration award or settlement concluded before an arbitration court or an arbitration clause are not drawn up in Polish, the party is obliged to provide their certified translations into Polish.

Is an arbitral award legally effective abroad?

Yes. Under art. III of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (adopted in 1958), the parties to that Convention consider the arbitral awards issued abroad as binding and enforceable. That Convention has been signed by as many as 159 countries in the world. In order to obtain recognition and enforceability, you need to submit the original award and arbitration clause, or properly certified copies thereof, to the competent authority.

May consumer disputes be resolved through arbitration?

Yes, but not in the Online Arbitration Court. Consumer disputes are regulated by Regulation (EU) No. 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No. 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC (Regulation on consumer ODR), and the European Commission has developed a special online platform for such disputes. The platform is available here. However, the OAC does not deal with resolving consumer disputes.

Is it possible to appeal against an arbitral award to a state court?

No. In most jurisdictions arbitration proceedings are highly autonomous, which is completely consistent with the intentions of the lawmakers, thus significantly limiting the control capacity of common courts. It is emphasized that the fundamental aim of such approach is to ensure fast proceedings for handling civil and commercial law disputes, and not to create an additional phase of prejudicial proceedings. Therefore, the parties that decide to submit a dispute for resolution by an arbitration court must take into account the fact that the external control of arbitration awards is very weak. The control may apply only to several formal issues, such as: whether the arbitration clause was valid or whether a party was granted the right to defense.

Arbitration Clause

Pytanie 1


Pytanie 2?


What is an arbitration clause?

For the OAC to be the competent court for resolving a dispute, the parties must subject themselves to its jurisdiction. Such a clause may also be referred to as the ”agreement to submit to arbitration” or “arbitration court agreement”. Templates of the OAC arbitration clauses are available in the “Clause template” bookmark in the upper menu. The arbitration clause may be in written or electronic (e.g. email, fax, text message) form.

How to use the services of the OAC?

In order to use the services of the OAC, you need to do two things only. First, open an account on the OAC Website. Second, include the OAC arbitration clause in your agreements. If a dispute already exists and there has been no clause, both parties must sign an arrangement on submitting the dispute for resolution by the OAC or the party filing the case may invite the other party to arbitration via the OAC Website.

What should be the contents of the OAC arbitration clause?

Templates of the OAC arbitration clauses are available in the “Arbitration Clause” bookmark in the upper menu.

Is inclusion of an OAC arbitration clause in my agreements associated with any costs or does it require the consent of the OAC?

No. However, it is necessary to register an account in the OAC in order to obtain an OAC ID that constitutes an element of the OAC arbitration clause.

Is it possible to include an OAC clause electronically (email, fax, text message or other means of distance communication)?

Yes. Provisions of the law allow any form of electronic communication that allows recording of the contents thereof. That is why an arbitration clause in the form of email or text message correspondence, is admissible.

Technical Requirements

What equipment do I need to use the OAC?

You just need a computer (or a mobile device) connected to the Internet and, potentially, a scanner to process the evidence into electronic form. The computer should be equipped with headphones and a microphone in case the Arbitrators want to conduct a hearing in the form of a video conference.

What software do I need to use the OAC?

You just need an Internet browser (OAC is compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari) and an installed video conference program called Zoom.us and, potentially, a program for converting various files (evidence, i.e., for example, .doc, .xls, .jpg) into .pdf (e.g. Primo PDF, 7-PDF Maker). Internet browsers, Zoom.us and programs for converting files into pdfs are free and available for download from the Internet.

Does using the OAC require a qualified electronic signature?

No. Qualified electronic signatures are still not very popular among Internet users, and there are other ways of verifying their identity. In the OAC, to verify Users we use, among others, the requirement to make a bank transfer from one’s own account, which guarantees validity of identity comparable to qualified electronic signature.


Is my personal data safe?

In the OAC, we follow the highest security standards associated with personal data protection. In that regard, the website and ther application are fully compliant with the requirements of the European Union.

Is the data on the case safe?

OAC applies the highest security standards both in organizational (authorization of access of Court staff) and technical (authentication, data encryption, SSL protocol, regular backups) terms.

How is User identity verified?

User verification is conducted through a multi-stage registration process. Apart from the requirement to state the necessary data and to send the documents to support it, the User must make a bank transfer from his/her own bank account. This solution allows to resign from the requirement to have qualified electronic signature, and provides a comparable level of security.


What are the advantages of the OAC in comparison with traditional arbitration courts?

In comparison with traditional arbitration courts (as well as state courts), the Online Arbitration Court is much faster, more comfortable and cheaper while maintaining the advantages typical for arbitration courts: the parties may decide on who will be their arbitrator, on the procedure and on the legal grounds for ruling.
More information on the advantages of the OAC here.

What is the biggest advantage of the OAC?

OAC has numerous advantages, but the biggest one is pace. The problem of every state judicial system in the world is the slow pace of proceedings. Even simple cases can take months or years, and the applicable procedures allow the parties to prolong them intentionally in many ways. In the OAC, cases are usually resolved up to one month, which is particularly important for entrepreneurs, for whom a quick award is just as important as its high quality.
More information on the advantages of the OAC here.

What are the advantages of the OAC in comparison with common (state) courts?

It is much faster and more comfortable, as well as more flexible. the parties may decide on who will be their arbitrator, on the legal grounds for ruling and on the proper law.
More information on the advantages of the OAC here.

Costs and Fees

How much is the registration fee?

The registration fee is EUR 25 + VAT.

Does the OAC issue invoices for the services provided?

Yes, you will receive an electronic invoice for each payment made.

How much does it cost to have a case decided in the OAC?

The amount of the fee for proceedings is specified in the Fee Regulations available here. It depends on the value of the subject of dispute, and on whether the case is examined by one or three Arbitrators. The fee calculator is available here.

What are the possible currencies of payments?

Fees may be paid in EUR, USD or PLN. In the case of a payment in the currency other than EUR, the amount due will be converted based on the last exchange rate published by the European Central Bank.

What are the methods of payment?

Payments made be made as follows: A. by credit card, B. by PayPal, C. with a traditional bank transfer. However, and in some cases D. by fast online transfers, the registration fee may only be paid in the form of a traditional bank transfer, as it is used for verifying the identity of the User not possible in the case of other methods of payment.

Does the fee for proceedings encumber only the initiating party?

Just like in the state judicial system, the party initiating the dispute must pay the fee for the statement of claim. However, if it requests reimbursement of the costs of arbitration proceedings and wins the case, the Arbitrators will award reimbursement of costs from the losing party, in the award. Furthermore, upon a joint request of the parties, the Arbitrators will divide the costs equally between the parties.

Does a case against a foreign entity cost more?

No. The fee for proceedings only depends on the value of the dispute and on the number of Arbitrators (1 or 3).

Are the costs of a case examined by 3 Arbitrators higher than in the case of 1 Arbitrator?

Yes. The fee for proceedings with 3 Arbitrators is 70% higher than for proceedings with 1 Arbitrator.


How can I register in the Online Arbitration Court?

Click on “Enter the Court” button in the top-right corner of the screen, and then on “Create an account”. Then complete further stages of registration: 1. statement of data, 2. verification of e-mail address, 3. verification of phone number, 4. payment and 5. attachment of the necessary documents.

What are the stages of registration?

Registration consists of 5 short stages. The first stage is stating the necessary information, such as name of entity, its legal form, address, tax identification (NIP) number of the information on its representative. The second stage is verification of the email address: click on the link in the message sent. The third stage is verification of phone number: state the 4-digit code sent in the text message. The fourth stage is payment. The fifth stage is attachment of the documents required, such as the entity registration document (printout from the National Court Register or the Central Business Register and Information Service (CEIDG)), ID document of the representative and proof of payment of the registration fee.

What are the possible currencies of payments?

Fees may be paid in EUR, USD or PLN. In the case of a payment in the currency other than EUR, the amount due will be converted based on the last exchange rate published by the European Central Bank.

How much is the registration fee?

The registration fee is EUR 25 + VAT (23%). The entities registered in the European Union, but not in Poland, with an active VIES number, will pay the net amount.

How to pay the registration fee?

As this stage of registration is used for additional verification of User identity, the fee may only be paid using a traditional bank transfer. Later on, using the Website you may choose other forms of payment, such as fast online transfers, credit cards or PayPal.

What to do if I have trouble registering?

If, at any stage of registration, you face problems, contact the Court staff by sending an e-mail at support@onlinearbitrationcourt.com

Can a consumer register?

No. The OAC does not handle consumers or consumer disputes. Consumer disputes are regulated by Regulation (EU) No. 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No. 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC (Regulation on consumer ODR), and the European Commission has developed a special online platform for such disputes. The platform is available here.

When will I get full access to functionalities of the Online Arbitration Court?

You will get full access after User registration and verification by the Court personnel. Verification usually takes up to 24 hours.

Can I perform any acts on the OAC Website before my account is verified by the Court staff?

Before a User account is verified by the Court staff, the User may only prepare a draft lawsuit. However, he/she will not be able to file the it before his/her account is verified.

What if I make a mistake during registration?

If a User makes a mistake during registration (e.g. states incorrect legal form or company name, pays a wrong amount by bank transfer or attaches an incorrect document), the Court staff will request that the User correct or supplement the registration application. If the mistake constitutes an obvious clerical error (e.g. 5 is entered as the building number while it follows from registration documents that it should be 6), the Court staff may correct it "ex officio".

Is the account time-limited?

No, it will never expire.


Are the whole proceedings conducted online?

Yes. Only the award will be sent to the parties also in written form.

Do I need a professional attorney?

In the Online Arbitration Court, it is not necessary to have a professional attorney. Using the OAC Website is simple and intuitive, so every User will easily handle it on his/her own. However, we suggest that the persons who are not proficient in the law use the assistance of a professional attorney, such as a legal advisor or advocate, so that their arguments and evidence be completely formulated and presented. If a party has such an attorney and wins the case, at its request submitted in the course of the case, the Arbitrators will award reimbursement of the costs of proceedings, including costs of representation, upon the same rules as common courts.

What are equity principles (ex aequo et bono)?

Cases submitted for arbitration are examined on the basis of the law selected by the parties, and in the lack or invalidity of selection – under the proper law resulting from proper provisions. However, if the parties so agree (in the arbitration clause), it is possible to resolve a dispute in arbitration based on equity principles (Latin: "ex aequo et bono"). In such a case, the Arbitrators will not follow provisions of the law, but the feeling of justice – “according to the right and good”.

How many attorneys can I have and who can become an attorney?

You can have only one attorney. An attorney may be any individual with full capacity for acts in law and with an OAC account. However, we suggest that qualified lawyers – legal advisors and advocates – be appointed as attorneys.

How to file a statement of claim in the OAC?

A lwasuit is filed via the OAC Application. After logging in, click on “Start new case”. Then, state the required information (on the parties), attach the arbitration clause (if it exists), choose the Arbitrator, select the proper law and language of proceedings, specify the value of the dispute, formulate the claims, provide the justification, attach the evidence, and then pay the fee.

What procedure modifications are admissible?

The following modifications of the fundamental procedure are admissible in the Online Arbitration Court:
1) introducing an additional round in electronic exchange of documents,
2) removing the requirement for translation of the documents submitted by the Parties into the language of the proceedings,
3) distributing the costs of proceedings between the Parties in equal parts,
4) resolving the dispute with three Arbitrators.
Each modification may be proposed at the stage of filing the lawsuit. If the defendant agrees to them, they will be applied in the given case.

How will the other party learn it has been sued?

An e-mail and a text message will be sent to their address and phone number stated in the OAC, to that effect. After logging in on the OAC account (or after prior opening of an account, if the party has not done it before), the party will become familiar with the lawsuit, submit an answer and perform other acts in the proceedings.

What are the stages of proceedings before the OAC?

The main stages are as follows: a lawsuit, a statement of defense, the second statement of the plaintiff, the second statement of the defendant, and the award. At the request of the parties, the proceedings may be extended with an additional round (the third statement of the plaintiff and the third statement of the defendant). Apart from the main stages, side proceedings may also take place, with Court orders sent to the parties or party motions sent to the Court or to the other party. They will not basically affect the course of the main proceedings.

How to examine the evidence given by witnesses and parties?

The evidence from party and witness testimony may be examined in one of two ways at the discretion of the Arbitrators ruling in the case. The first one is testimony in writing. Such a document must be signed by the person giving testimony and then scanned. Also, it should contain the contact information of that person, as well as the statement on awareness of civil and criminal liability for giving false statement. The document should include answers to all the questions asked by the Court or allowed by the Court upon the motion of a party. The other method is video conference. The Chief Arbitrator then issues an order setting the date of the video conference, indicating who should be present apart from the parties. The video conference will be conducted using the Zoom.us software.

How much does it usually take to have a case examined before the OAC?

A case is usually decided within 3-5 weeks. It may take longer in special circumstances (e.g. changes in the adjudication panel, suspension of proceedings).

What happens if a party does not check its e-mail and phone stated in the OAC and does not even know that it is being sued?

The sending by the OAC Website of messages to the e-mail address and phone number stated by the defendant in the OAC will be tantamount to their effective service. Every Application User is obliged to regularly check their e-mail address and mobile phone number stated in the Website (including the spam folder). It does not matter whether the defendant has actually become familiar with the contents of the message. The messages will be deemed served, and the proceedings will be continued, and a default award may be issued.

May the current minutes of a hearing be downloaded?

At every stage of the case, you can download its current minutes in the .pdf format by clicking on the “Minutes” button visible on the left side of the case view. The minutes are available in two versions: abridged and full. The abridged version, apart from the general information on the case, such as information on the parties, the Arbitrators or on value of the subject of the dispute, includes a chronological list of the activities performed in the case. In turn, the full minutes also contain the contents of all the documents, motions submitted in the case as well as all the orders and of the award.

Is it possible to submit evidence to the OAC using traditional methods?

No, OAC only allows evidence in electronic form. Therefore, if a paper document constitutes evidence, it should be scanned and sent as a PDF file.

In what languages may disputes be resolved in the OAC?

Proceedings may be pending in any language selected by the parties, on the condition that the OAC has an Arbitrator that speaks that language. We suggest indicating the language of proceedings (as well as the proper law) in the arbitration clause. However, the Application itself is currently available in English and Polish.

Is it possible to appeal against an OAC ruling?

No, the proceedings are conducted in one instance.

hat should I do if the List of Arbitrators does not include a person with the competencies required in my dispute?

If, before filing a lawsuit, the List of Arbitrators does not contain a person meeting the required criteria (e.g. knowledge of the law of the given state being the proper law for the given dispute), the User should report that fact to Court staff. The Court staff will exercise efforts to find a competent Arbitrator that meets the required criteria. If, in turn, such a situation appears in the course of proceedings (e.g. on account of resignation, exclusion or dismissal of an Arbitrator), the case will be suspended and the Court staff will search for a suitable Arbitrator. If it is impossible to find a suitable Arbitrator, the case will be discontinued.

Do Arbitrators award the costs of proceedings to the winning party?

Yes, the OAC Arbitrators will award the costs of proceedings to the winning party, if it so requests in a pleading. The costs of representation are awarded in the amount, in which they would have been awarded by a state (common) court that would have examined the case if it had not been submitted to the OAC.