Collective Redress in Poland: May It Be the Avenue for Antitrust Enforcement?

Anna Piszcz

When adopting the legal framework for collective redress mechanism in 2009, the Polish legislature opted for an opt-in system. The most recent statistics of the Ministry of Justice, for mid-2016, put the average number of group cases filed to Polish courts at 35 per annum (altogether over 200 cases over six years). However, none of them has been reported as an antitrust case. In the words of the Ministry of Development, "after around six years of the functioning of collective redress, one can clearly see practical problems causing that the mechanism cannot be effectively used in accordance with its intended purpose. The best proof of this is the fact that so far none of "big" group cases has been concluded with a final decision, even though some of them were filed in 2010". The proposed paper will focus on possible obstacles and challenges to using collective redress as an avenue for antitrust enforcement in Poland. In addition to the presentation of drawbacks of Polish legal provisions, references to EU Commission's Recommendation on collective redress and the Antitrust Damages Directive 2014/104/EU will be made. When it comes to the last on the list, the Polish decision-makers attitude towards group proceedings during the process of the implementation of the Directive will be shown. The paper will debate the question of what may be advisable to be changed in Polish collective redress for its functioning in the field of antitrust enforcement. Moreover, if the Ministry of Development releases a strategy for the reform of collective redress, also this strategy will be addressed from the perspective of antitrust enforcement.

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