Poland: Proof and Information About Foreign Law – Theory and Reality
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Polish law is based on the assumption of equality of legal systems. All transborder cases are to be decided according to the law – be it Polish or foreign – which is indicated by a relevant conflict rule (applied ex officio). Whenever foreign law turns out to be applicable, the task of ascertaining its contents and applying it encumbers the judge who should use one of many methods available in this respect (including some international measures concerning the exchange of information on foreign law). In practical terms, though, courts usually involve the Ministry of Justice requesting texts of foreign regulations and information on foreign judicial practice.
On the other hand, outside judicial proceedings (e.g. in arbitration cases or when transborder issues are dealt with by Civil Registry Officers), the burden of applying foreign law appears to be even more cumbersome since no assistance of the Ministry of Justice is offered here.
Looking from a more general perspective, however, the real problem in cases with a foreign element seems to be more practical than legal. The truth is that lawyers in Poland are, by and large, very skeptical about applying foreign law and they tend to strongly support the lex fori approach.