EU Law

Is Polish e-court artificial intelligence’s Trojan horse?

Many focus on limitations of artificial intelligence and barriers that it  has to overcome when it comes to settling court cases while  in Poland the time AI judges your case may closer than  you  think. After all we  have a fully operational e – court in our beautiful country already. What if it is used to implement AI  based solutions to replace living judges? So is the Polish e-court AI’s Trojan horse?









What s Polish e-court




















It may be a huge surprise for some of you but we already have a fully functioning electronic court in Poland.

The legal framework for its actions and proceedings before the e-court are set forth in the Polish  Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) and regulations stemming from CCP . However the  legal foundations for the  e-court are laid  in Section VIII  of Polish CCP entitled “Electronic Admonishment Procedure.”

The entire proceeding in front of e-court is indeed fully electronic and it ends with e-judgement either. There are not even scan of paper documents allowed.

The e- proceeding may concern only  monetary claims.   In addition, it is very much simplified, because you do not even include scans of documents confirming your claim (e.g. no scans of  unpaid invoices or receipts).  You just claim that Kowalski owes you this specific amount of money due to this or that reason and that’s it.

You file a lawsuit electronically.  To do this you need to create  an  account on the first .   If you are interested, you will  find the instruction on how to do this in here but it is only in Polish.  You do not need any   qualified electronic signature (QES) or its Polish equivalent,  which means a signature issued though ePUAP,  to create  your account at e-court.  

Assuming that  the e-court issues an electronic order for payment after you have filed your claim, if it becomes final, it will be given the electronic immediate enforceability clause. 

Electronic proceedings are, in principle, conducted without the participation of the defendant, who becomes aware of the whole case only when he receives e-court’s order for payment   Due to obvious reasons such a delivery of the e-court order to the defendant occurs in a traditional way: on paper though postal services.  And once the defendant learns about an e-order issued against her or him, this person can lodge a statement of opposition to the order. However this is done on paper and if a statement of opposition is filed , the whole proceeding re-starts  but this time in a standard, non- electronic way.






polish e-court  is still dominated by humen not robots
Polish e-court is still occupied by human judges. Well, for now 🙂
















Although the whole procedure for  is electronic, people keep ruling in the e-court. More specifically, the judges of the 6th  Civil Court Division of The District Court of  Lublin – West together with the team of judicial referees.  

There are 6 e- judges in total  (the seventh is currently delegated to serve at the Ministry of Justice in Warsaw), 58 local judicial referees and  47 long-distance judicial referees (these  perform their duties remotely).

So the math tells us that there are 111 people in total at the e-court, according to data from the  e-court website from 28.06.2020.

People. Not bots and or an artificial intelligence. Although, are these judgments and verdicts really issued really actually issued by men?






so many cases and so little time










HAS SETTLED  703 030 CASES!!!!









According to statistics coming from Polish  Ministry of Justice at  703 030   cases ended with substantive decisions during that 1st half of 2019 (this is the latest data available at the moment). 

This means that in the first half of 2019, each of the 111 judges had to settle approximately  6333  cases!

Well, you have to admit that this is an impressive number.

After deduction of Sundays, Saturdays and Polish bank  holidays we had 124 working days counting from January to the end of June in the first half of 2019. This gives 992 working hours.

If I multiply  these 992 working hours by 111 and divide the result by 730 030 cases, it turns out that a person  had approx. 7.5 minute to decide on each case and issue a verdict.

Of course, it’s a fiction, because in practice each person  had less time. Why?

  First of all, no-one works 8 hours without breaks for a bathroom, coffee or “grabbing a bite”. Secondly, Polish employment laws allow 5 minute breaks every hour if you work at a computer plus one 30-minute break which is calculated into your working  time if you work more than 6 hours a day. 

To sum up: I believe that if we assume that, in practice, every judge and judicial referee of the e-court has spent more than six minutes on reviewing an e-lawsuit,  analyzing a case and issuing an order then this is a very optimistic assumption.

And if I tell you that, according to statistics from the Ministry of Justice, the e-court settled a total  number of 1,196,293 cases in the first half of 2019  cases (yes, yes: one hundred and ninety-six thousand two hundred and ninety-three)?

This huge number includes cases which did not ended with a substantive decision.

Well, assuming that each person  had to familiarize themselves with each case, they had about 5 minutes to settle one, and that’s assuming that each person worked non-stop for 8 hours a day, which is purely fictional.







Polsih e-court- so...what's going  on?














Well, one needs to ask if the e-judges and e-judicial referees  were actually capable  to examine a case in less than 5 minutes?  

I think any logically minded person will answer that’s simply impossible. None man can do it. So, in fact, this electronic procedure is already fully automated however, as the experts put it, “we are dealing with the mechanization of civil proceedings, but imperfect since done  with human hands.”

So now I am asking: why not replace a human with a program or  even some form of AI if this  human judgement is  totally fictional already?

It would be faster, more efficient, more objective and less mistakes would be made.

For God’s sake, why we should sustain this fiction of human ruling ?  Why not to move towards e.g. the Estonian model of serving justice I mentioned already in one of my prior posts “AI Judge: the Future of Court Proceedings in EU?”

Maybe it’s worth thinking about it and stop clinging to the idea that court rulings can only be issued by a human being.

If a person has 3-4 minutes to get things done in practice, it is not a ruling and I find it very difficult to call it serving  justice.

So is the Polish e-court  AI’s a Trojan horse ?

 In my opinion: yes, it is. If AI replaces a person in any proceedings in Poland, then it will be done first in the e- court .

 And I shall keep my fingers crossed  for that.

Regards, Prawstoria

P.S. While Preparing this text I used, among others, the article “Electronic court and artificial intelligence in Polish law” written by   Mrs. Maria Dymitruk and Prof. Jack Gołaczyński, published in a collective study entitled “Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Personal Data”,issued by  Beck Publishing, Warsaw 2019.

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