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What is an arbitration court?

An arbitration court is a forum used for the amicable settlement of disputes, with the specific nature of a given industry or business taken into account, by individuals with expertise in areas covered by the industry or business. The arbitration court may also conduct mediation proceedings. The arbitration court may deal with cases either in the course of ?full court proceedings? or, if necessary, in ?summary proceedings?.

Arbitration courts are a popular form of resolving legal and economic doubts throughout the world, though they have rarely been used to date in the audiovisual business in Poland, as there was no court specialising in this field. Arbitration courts, including the Court of Arbitration of the Audiovisual Market (SARA), resolve disputes in an amicable and confidential way. Recourse to SARA can be made by all participants of the audiovisual market, i.e. producers, co-producers, broadcasters, authors, artists, performers and executive crew members, as well as authors? heirs, etc. For a dispute to be handled by the arbitration court, an arbitration clause must be incorporated in an agreement, whereunder the Court of Arbitration of the Audiovisual Market at the Polish Audiovisual Producers Chamber of Commerce will have jurisdiction to examine disputes arising from that agreement.

The main advantages of arbitration are speedy proceedings and the involvement of experts from the audiovisual business, whose presence guarantees an appropriate level of knowledge of complex problems connected with pursuing the business in the area of audiovisual production and execution, of applicable operating practices, and of the rules of co-operation on specific types of projects, including on the international market. Two out of the three arbitrators making up an arbitration tribunal are appointed by the parties to the proceedings. The third arbitrator, the ?presiding arbitrator?, is a lawyer selected from the list of arbitrators by the other two arbitrators appointed by the parties.