Summary: 1. Introduction. – 2. Historical Background. – 3. Right to Court in Polish Case-law and Jurisprudence. – 4. The Way to View Absolute Procedural Premises. – 5. The Impact of Party Autonomy on Ending Polish Civil Proceedings without a Judgement. – 6. Concluding Remarks.
By instigating civil proceedings a plaintiff intends to obtain a final and unequivocal judgement on the merits regulating a legal situation which had been unclear prior to the lawsuit. However, reaching this goal will not always be possible. The court might be obliged to reject the lawsuit or annul the proceedings due to formal reasons (cf. Article 199 and article 355 of the Polish Code of Civil Procedure). Such situations give room to considerations whether purely formal, procedural decisions violate litigants’ right to court in the aspect of ‘right to judgement’, i.e. a right to a verdict substantively adjudicating the merits of the case. The author analyzes this issue with reference to the so-called absolute procedural prerequisites (Germ. Prozessvoraussetzungen) and their impact on constitutional and treaty-based guarantees of access to court.