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Poland

Author: Magdalena Tulibacka

V. Information on collective redress

1. National Registry

No national registry yet. It was announced in the 2017 amendment (the new article 11a of the Class Actions Act). The registry will be kept and updated by the Ministry of Justice.

2. Channels for dissemination of information on collective claims

The statement on the commencement of the class action should be published in the popular national press, although there is also a possibility of publishing it only in regional press, depending on the circumstances. Further, the court may decide to not publish the statement if it is clear from the circumstances that all the potential class members already joined the class (the current article 11 of the Act). The manner in which the information requirements were regulated was criticised by judges and consumer ombudsmen, who argued that it was not cost-effective and did not include more flexible, cheaper and more accessible means of publication like the Internet. In one case, it was reported that the cost of information (to be covered by the claimant) was 5,000PLN (about 1,200 Euro, ibid.). This is a high amount in Poland, and is particularly striking because publishing the same information online would be significantly cheaper.

The 2017 amendment made the requirements concerning publicity more flexible, allowing the judge to select the means of publication that are best suited to the circumstances of the specific case. The new article 11.3 allows the court to select the means of publication: including the official bulletin of the court, websites of the parties, or the national or local press.

Further, the new article 11a requires that the Minister of Justice should publish information about all class actions in which the statement on the commencement has been issued (as well as all completed procedures) in the official information bulletin of the Ministry. Courts are required to send information on proceedings where the statement was issued to the Ministry, and the latter should immediately update the bulletin. No such information has been published yet by the Ministry.

Looking for information on classactions (those contemplated and those already proceeding, as well as those completed with judgements) is a complex process at the moment. The register of all class actions mentioned above cannot come soon enough. Private parties and law firms have set up websites where this information is collected, either for the purposes of one particular action or a number of actions (these websites are for instance: www.pozywamy-zbiorowo.pl, www.pozywamybank.pl and www.pozew-zbiorowy.com).

1. Opinion of the Regional Consumer Ombudswoman for Warsaw M. Rothbert, quoted in M. Niedu¬żak, M. Szwast, Pozwy grupowe -doświadczenia po czterech latach, Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka, Warszawa, lipiec 2014, p. 16

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