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most interesting rulings

How does access to public information work in Poland?
Disputes over access to public information are increasingly finding their way onto the court docket in Poland. Higher public awareness and a desire for citizen oversight of issues of particular public interest may be the reason. But administrative authorities or other entities obliged to provide information, whose decisions are subject to further review, often refuse to provide the requested information. What is public information, how to obtain it, and what to do when access is denied?
How does access to public information work in Poland?
Tales from the National Appeal Chamber: Trade secrets must be proven
Public procurement is subject to the general principle of openness. Sometimes, this conflicts with the interests of contractors, who can protect their companies’ valuable information and knowhow by designating it as a trade secret. But this is not an automatic process, as it requires contractors to make a credible showing of the rationale for protecting the information. In a recent ruling, the National Appeal Chamber clarified the conditions for correctly reserving trade secrets.
Tales from the National Appeal Chamber: Trade secrets must be proven
Can penalties in public procurement exceed the contract price?
The Polish Public Procurement Law does not specify an upper limit for contractual penalties. However, if the penalties are out of line with the realities of the contract, the contractor can seek review by the National Appeal Chamber. In a recent ruling, the chamber cut the penalties to 30% of the contractor’s gross fee.
Can penalties in public procurement exceed the contract price?
Judicial revolution allows online alcohol sales
The judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court of 8 September 2022 has broken a relatively uniform line of decisions banning online alcohol sales.
Judicial revolution allows online alcohol sales
Disqualification of a judge in a case over a mortgage denominated in Swiss francs is not as obvious as it seems
Can a judge impartially rule in the case of a bank from which the judge has taken out a mortgage loan? Is the mere fact of holding a mortgage in Swiss francs a basis for disqualifying a judge from hearing cases seeking invalidation of mortgage loans indexed or denominated in that currency? And why is it easier to disqualify a Supreme Court judge than a lower-court judge?
Disqualification of a judge in a case over a mortgage denominated in Swiss francs is not as obvious as it seems
Tax proceedings and trust in public authorities
Issuing a permit to demolish a building, then blocking the demolition and demanding payment of tax on the undemolished building, while ignoring a request for an individual interpretation on the matter, hardly fosters citizens’ trust in the public authorities. It is also unlawful.
Tax proceedings and trust in public authorities
What conditions can be imposed on the obligation to pay a fee to a construction contractor?
In its judgment of 2 June 2021 (case no. II CSKP 7/21), the Supreme Court of Poland ruled on whether payment of the fee to a contractor for construction works can be conditional. This ruling is of great practical importance, as it comments on which contractual provisions regarding the fee are permissible and which are prohibited and thus invalid. This is essential reading for contractors and investors alike, providing valuable tips on how to frame construction contracts to ensure compliance with the regulations while affording proper legal protection.
What conditions can be imposed on the obligation to pay a fee to a construction contractor?
Acknowledgement of debt: What does the debtor’s behaviour mean?
Recently, the Supreme Court of Poland commented on the subject of acknowledgement of debt, and at the same time gave some general guidance on how to interpret a debtor’s statements and behaviour. This is a key practical issue, as action by the debtor can cause interruption of running of the statute of limitations on the claim. Therefore, debtors should be cautious about what they state to creditors. Conversely, in many cases, creditors can take advantage of the debtor’s behaviour to improve their legal position.
Acknowledgement of debt: What does the debtor’s behaviour mean?
One sea area and several projects
As economic activity in the Baltic Sea increases, there will be more situations where multiple undertakings are planned in the same area. Deciding on these cases can be challenging for the authorities and the administrative courts.
One sea area and several projects
When (part of) a consortium wants to go to court
For many years, the consortium has been a familiar form of cooperation between businesses pursuing public contracts. But this construction still raises legal questions, especially when a dispute arises and goes to court. Because this structure is deceptively similar to an ordinary partnership, sometimes it is unclear which members of a consortium may participate in court proceedings. The Supreme Court of Poland examined this issue in its judgment of 30 June 2021 (case no. III CSKP 75/21).
When (part of) a consortium wants to go to court
Tales from the National Appeal Chamber: Validity of bid bond vs. bid validity period
As the host of the procedure, in the contract documentation the contracting authority should specify the formal and technical requirements for a bid bond. In some procurement procedures, the contracting authority requires contractors to submit a bid bond with a validity extending beyond the bid validity period. In a recently issued ruling, the National Appeal Chamber opined on whether such provisions of the terms of reference are permissible, or are invalid by virtue of law (case no. KIO 3482/21).
Tales from the National Appeal Chamber: Validity of bid bond vs. bid validity period
Tales from the National Appeal Chamber: How to explain a bid price when requested by the contracting authority?
A contractor is obliged to calculate the bid price fairly and factor in everything that follows from the terms of reference, including typical risks associated with contract performance, so that the bid is realistic and allows for proper performance of the contract. If the bid price appears abnormally low or is otherwise questionable, the contractor must explain it in detail.
Tales from the National Appeal Chamber: How to explain a bid price when requested by the contracting authority?