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Poland

Author: Magdalena Tulibacka

VIII. Data

The empirical data under this heading were gathered from the European Commission Report "State of Collective Redress in the EU in the Context of the Implementation of the Commission Recommendation". You can reach the report from the link: Collective Redress Study for the European Commission

The following empirical data were gathered from a lawyer representing claimants, an organisation representing claimants, and an organisation of employers. Their fields of expertise cover the following areas:

Have you been involved in collective redress (as claimant, claimant lawyer, other) or are you envisaging such involvement?

One third of the respondents have been directly involved in collective redress, although they mention the cases in which they are involved are still pending. The other stakeholders have experience of collective redress through contacts with representative entities. One organisation potentially representing claimants also mentions they have not been involved or provided representation because of the costs collective redress entails. Lacking the necessary resources is thus a major issue.

Is access to justice enhanced by collective redress?

All of the respondents agree that collective actions ensure fairness of proceedings, and that access to justice is enhanced by collective redress. The support of the group, the increased bargaining power, the mere existence of an additional "option" to bring a claim, are cited as reasons why. The stakeholders remain however unsure whether collective actions are an effective method to obtain compensation. It appears that, so far, the cases brought have not led to compensation, and some cases are still in the first stages. Compensation is thus an issue that remains to be determined.

In terms of burden and length of proceedings, a respondent points out that non collective cases brought before the court of first instance last around two years, while the first stage of a collective action (decision on admissibility) also takes up to two years. The length of the proceedings might thus be an important setback.

General remarks from stakeholders indicate that the efficiency of collective redress in Poland remains to be proven. So far, collective cases have not led to compensation, and they take some time. Some steps are being taken to widen the scope of application of the current mechanism.

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