Shield 3.0 has come into force
On Friday, 15 May, the text of the Act of 14 May 2020 amending certain acts in the field of protection activities in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus – the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield 3.0 (Journal of Laws 2020, item 875) was announced in the Journal of Laws.
The most important changes that the Shield 3.0 introduces from the point of view of bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings are as follows
- addition of restructuring and bankruptcy cases to the catalogue of urgent cases under Article 14a of the Act of 2 March 2020 on special solutions related to the prevention, prevention and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them – however, the practical significance of this catalogue is insignificant, due to the repeal of Article 15zzs of this Act.
- repeal of Article 15zzs of the Act as amended, under which judicial and procedural deadlines were suspended;
- amendments concerning the conduct of hearings and public hearings in civil proceedings:
- during the period of an emergency or epidemic declared due to COVID-19 and within one year of the appeal of the last one, in cases dealt with under the code of civil procedure the hearing or public hearing shall be conducted using technical devices enabling them to be conducted at a distance, unless the conduct of the hearing or public hearing without the use of such devices will not cause an undue health risk to the persons participating in it.
- the presiding judge may order a classified meeting to be held if he or she considers it necessary to consider the case and conducting a hearing or an open meeting as required by the Act could cause an excessive threat to the health of the persons participating in it and cannot be conducted at a distance, and none of the parties has objected to conducting a classified meeting within 7 days from the date of delivery of their notification of referring the case to a classified meeting.
It is also worth noting the controversy related to the repeal of the provision suspending the running of deadlines. Similarly to the introduction of Article 15zzs, which caused controversy as to its possible retroactive effect, its repeal raises questions of interpretation. Article 15zzs was repealed on the day following the day on which the most recent dial was announced, i.e. 16 May. However, pursuant to Article 68 of Shield 3.0, the trial periods suspended under Article 15zzs commence seven days after the Act enters into force – i.e. on the following Saturday, 23 May. The question therefore arises as to the basis on which the course of the periods is to be suspended between 16 and 23 May.