Some remarks on the Pending reform of the Polish domestic small claims procedure

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Olaś, Andrzej
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This paper comments on the major changes to the Polish small claims procedure proposed pursuant to the draft Act of 27 November, 2017 amending the act - Code of Civil Procedure and some other acts. The purpose of this paper is to briefly present and assess these draft amendments from the perspective of the past experiences and future expectations as well as in comparison with some features of the European Small Claims Procedure, with a special emphasis on the efficient functioning of the procedure in question in conformity with its objectives, i.e. the increase of the access to justice as well as the effectiveness and the efficiency of legal protection in disputes concerning property claims of lower value through the simplification, streamlining and acceleration of proceedings as well as lowering its costs. The author finds that while the changes in the ambit of the application of provisions on the small claims procedure as well as the abandonment of the obligatory use of official forms deserve full recognition and support as appropriate and desirable adjustments based on the past experience and the critical evaluation of the currently binding rules, the latter changes empowering judges to use broad discretion in establishing both claimants entitlement to a claim in principle and its amount as a substitute of strict determinations based on the proper evidence (including expert opinions), without the sufficient checks and procedural guarantees, e.g. in the form of the parties’ access to full appeal including thorough review of discretional findings of the court of first instance, seem to go too far in the attempt of streamlining and boosting time and cost-efficiency of this procedure, raising concerns from the perspective of due process and fair trial standards.
Pending reform, small claims, procedure, Poland, conference materials
Olaś A. Some remarks on the Pending reform of the Polish domestic small claims procedure / Olaś Andrzej // Малозначні спори: європейський та український досвід вирішення : збірник наукових праць учасників Міжнародної науково-практичної конференції, 23-24 листопада 2018 р., Київ, Україна / за заг. ред. І. Ізарової, Р. Флейшара, Р. Ханик-Посполітак. - Київ : Дакор, 2018. - С. 100-119.