10.06.2019 Litigation and arbitration

Planned amendments to civil procedure – part two

In this newsletter, we present another bit of information concerning the key legislative changes to the civil procedure, including:

Pre-trial hearing

Introducing an obligatory pre-trial hearing with participation of the parties aims to clarify and establish the issue in dispute and to enable the resolution of dispute without further hearings, especially a trial. At this hearing, the issue in dispute will be determined and the positions of the parties will be clarified, also with regard to legal aspects of a dispute. At this stage, the presiding judge will persuade the parties to reconciliation and amicable settlement, in particular by way of mediation. In the case of unjustified absence of a claimant, court will discontinue the proceedings and adjudicate the costs as in the case of cancelling the statement of claim.

Trial agenda

If a dispute is not resolved during pre-trial hearing, the legislative proposal provides that another step will involve drawing up the “agenda of a trial” i.e. plan of proceeding which will comprise the schedule of hearing, planned and allowed by the court motions on evidence, closing date of trial and/or pronouncing judgement. A pre-trial hearing will therefore replace individual orders as to evidence issued by the court successively during the proceedings.

Written form of testimony and hearing of the parties

The proposal provides for the possibility to give testimony in writing– and witness will make an oath by signing the text of an oath. Furthermore, the hearing of the parties or other persons may also take place by scheduling a deadline for taking the position in a pleading or by means of distance communication.

View also the first part of the newsletter: Civil Procedure Amendment Bill

Faster issuing of rulings

The civil procedure rule assumes only one trial which should be prepared in such a way and should collect such evidence so the case can be resolved at the first hearing. The court will be allowed to schedule another hearings if there is a need to hear more evidence which could not be heard at the first hearing. If entering a ruling is not possible at the first hearing due to the need of hearing more evidence, the subsequent hearings should take place on subsequent days, and if not possible, in such a way that the time between the hearings is not excessive. The pronouncing of the ruling should take place at the hearing closing the trial.

Concise grounds of the judgment

In accordance with the legislative proposal, the grounds of the judgment will contain the statement of the case and explanation of the legal basis. The grounds of the judgement should be concise. The party applying for issuing the grounds will be obliged to specify the requested scope, i.e. whether the grounds of the judgement concern the entire judgment or only specific aspect of it.

Commercial proceedings

The legislative proposal reinstates commercial proceedings but in a changed form. Both parties to this proceedings will be obliged to provide in the first pleadings their e-mail addresses or to make statement of no such address. The court proceeding should aim at entering the ruling in the case no later than within six months from filing of reply to the statement of claim. The proposal provides also for the possibility of entering into an evidence agreement by the parties to the proceedings whereby the parties may agree to exclude some evidence from the proceedings. However, such agreement cannot be entered into under the condition or with stipulation of any time limits. The court will not be able to allow on the court’s initiative the evidence excluded by evidence agreement. Actions of the parties in the form of declarations of intent or knowledge should, in principle, be taken as evidence by document. Evidence by witness could be allowed only if there are any unexplained circumstances material for resolution of the case. However, the proposal provides that a business operator being a natural person will be able to apply for examination of the case when excluding the provisions on commercial proceedings.

Other proposed changes

Among other proposed changes is the possibility to record the hearing individually by the parties and participants using their own recording device.

Sylwia Składzień
TGC Corporate Lawyers

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See also

17.12.2021 Litigation and arbitration
11.02.2021 Litigation and arbitration
20.05.2020 Litigation and arbitration
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