The world of today is functioning very fast. The revolutions in communications and transportation have made people perform much more activities than the previous generations. However, in the cases of disputes (which are unavoidable in a society), the matters suddenly and unbelievably slow down. For many people, in particular entrepreneurs, an enforcement title issued after two or more years of occurrence of a dispute, is no longer useful, because the debtor no longer holds any assets or the case is invalid for other reasons (e.g. the business opportunity has disappeared). That issue is best expressed in the statement probably by prime minister of Great Britain, Ewart Gladstone: “justice delayed is justice denied”. The traditional state and arbitration justice system does not meet the significant requirement of speed of dispute resolution. Every professional attorney (legal advisor, advocate) knows from experience that the simplest cases are examined by courts for months, and the more complicated ones – for years. One of the reasons for that state of things is the fact that judges are overburdened with the number of cases, but also lack of motivation for fast rulings (their remuneration is permanent, paid on a monthly basis and does not depend on the number or quality of cases handled). Another problem is organization of court administrative offices swamped with paper documents. However, the most important reason for that state of things is the service system. Courts are forced to set hearing dates every several months in order to make sure that during the next one, the case files will include the receipt acknowledgements from all the participants. Otherwise, it may be impossible to hold a hearing. In turn, postal service works slowly, because it is forced to limit costs to the minimum level in order to win a tender for providing services to courts. The attempts at accelerating court proceedings, such as electronic writ-of-payment proceedings often lead to opposite results, because in the case of an objection, the transfer of a case to the proper court takes long, and only then does the case in the first instance start at all. It should be borne in mind that there are no pertinent obstacles for fast resolution of disputes, and the only issues result from procedures.
The Online Arbitration Court (OAC) resolves those problems. Prompt communications and service, short time limits for submitting documents and issuing rulings, lack of the possibility to prolong the proceedings through intentional formal errors (e.g. lack of signature under a document) and absence of the need to summon people to hearings (because testimony may be given in writing or in the form of video conferences) allow to obtain a legally binding award within several weeks, including in cases against foreign contractors. It is a revolution in resolving disputes, setting new standards in that scope.
In the Online Arbitration Court, we look after the highest quality of awards. That is why we choose the Arbitrators very carefully. Every one of them must have the highest legal competencies and many years of practical experience. Therefore, Arbitrators are lead lawyers from Poland and abroad – prominent legal advisors and advocates, often with scientific degrees and titles, or being authors of highly-regarded publications in various areas of the law. The OAC also requires they be of good repute in order to guarantee impartial and reliable resolution of cases. When submitting a case to a common court, the parties may not have a say in choosing the judge to rule in their case. Therefore, an award may be issued, for example, by a judge who has just been transferred from a completely new division, with no experience in the cases of the given type. In the OAC, parties may choose together the Arbitrator they trust. They may also choose a 3-person adjudication panel, indicating the members they prefer. Therefore, this is an additional guarantee of the highest quality of ruling.
The legal effects of awards of the Online Arbitration Court are equal to those of common (state) courts. It may be used as basis for debt collection.
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 arbitral 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. Awards of the Online Arbitration Court are also enforceable abroad. 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.
Resolving disputes has never been so comfortable. The Online Arbitration Court is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round, from any place in the world and any device with online access. Therefore, you may work on your case in the way that you prefer. You can analyze documents faster by searching for keywords (the CTRL+F function). The convenient insight into the case is provided both to the attorney and to the principal. Payments may be made in many ways, including by quick online transfers, credit cards, PayPal or traditional bank transfers. Payments may be made in different currencies (EUR, PLN, USD). The intuitive character of the Court Website allows you to always know the status of the case and, additionally, you can generate an abridged (containing chronological list of activities) or full (additionally containing contents of documents, motions, orders and the award) version of minutes of a hearing. The Court Personnel is at the disposal of the Users and immediately responds to the potential queries.
Using the Website of the Online Arbitration Court is very simple and intuitive. When filing a statement of claim, the User fills in the respective fields with information on parties to the dispute, procedure modifications, arbitration clause, Arbiter appointment, proper law, language of proceedings, value of the subject of the dispute, contents and justification of claims, and evidence. Then, the User pays the fee. The Website prevents from making mistakes which could prolong the proceedings. Future documents may be submitted just as easily. At every stage of working on a letter, the User may click on “Check correctness”, and the Website will indicate the list of mistakes that prevent them from continuing (e.g. no Arbitrator selected) as well as the list of warnings which do not prevent from continuing, but pay the User’s attention to significant issues (e.g. no evidence attached to the document). Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Court personnel is always at the disposal of the User and immediately answer the potential queries. We recommend that persons without high qualifications in the law to use the services of professional attorneys (legal advisors, advocates) in connection with the OAC. However, this refers only to the legal aspects of proceedings. The case may be handled via the OAC Website by anyone and without trouble.
In comparison with Polish and foreign common (state) courts, as well as traditional arbitration courts, the fees in the Online Arbitration Court are very attractive. But that’s just one of the potential savings. That is because it should be emphasized that certain costs are completely eliminated, such as travelling and accommodation costs or the costs of lost profit of parties and witnesses, costs of service of documents, costs of printing documents or Arbitrator travelling and accommodation costs. It should be mentioned that, at the request of the winning party, it is the losing party that may be encumbered with the costs of proceedings. The costs of representation are awarded at a similar level as before state courts, so neither the winning party (nor its attorney) will lose because of not using a state court that awards such costs.
Nowadays, in particular in more complicated cases, documentation connected with proceedings consists of volumes of files. What is more, those volumes are usually multiplied because both the court and every party must have a complete set. In a large scale, it results in huge waste of paper which, as we know, is made from trees. Taking into account the current ecological crisis, we should protect the natural environment in any manner possible. On the Online Arbitration Court, we do not print anything but the final award. The whole documentation is maintained in electronic form only. Also, the parties have no need to print it, because it is easier and more comfortable to store it in its original electronic form. And if they do not want to store it, it is always available in the OAC (after the case, it is transferred to the archive in electronic form also).