6 December 2010

On 21st October 2009, a meeting of the Committee for Justice and Human Rights of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland took place; it was devoted to examining the report of the emergency subcommittee on the governmental draft bill on making claims in group proceedings (form No. 1829). Apart from the members of parliament and representatives of the initiator, also the representatives of the Polish Insurance Association participated in the meeting.

During the meeting, amendments to the entries of the draft bill were proposed. Changes which were to facilitate the future unambiguous interpretation of the regulations and two vital amendments to the draft bill were introduced by way of voting. In Article 5 of the draft bill, the remuneration of a plenipotentiary was limited to 20% of the amount awarded to the petitioner. In Article 26 of the draft bill, the time when the act will take effect after it has been published in the journal of laws was prolonged from 3 to 6 months.

The implementation of changes, in both cases, was previously called for by the Polish Insurance Association, in the opinion sent to the chairman of the emergency subcommittee and during the meeting. Especially the limitation to 20% of the remuneration of a plenipotentiary, specified in relation to the awarded amount, might be the reason for future, possible compensation to be paid in a greater part to the aggrieved party, not to law offices. The experiences of the Americans prove that good intentions, that is the improvement of the protection of consumers have, in practice, led on many markets to the development of the sector of law offices which benefited from representing parties to disputes.

A vast majority of the awarded compensation was spent on the remuneration of law offices in the United States.

The Committe for Justice and Human Rights of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland passed the report of the subcommittee with the implemented amendments. The Polish Insurance Association will still be monitoring the future course of action of the legislative process in the Sejm and Senate of the Republic of Poland. In opinion of the Association, the adopted, by the Committee, draft bill on making claims in group proceedings does not take into account all the negative economic and social consequences which might be caused by it.