The International Arbitration Court of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BelCCI) (hereinafter “IAC”) is the first permanent arbitration institution in Belarus authorized to consider commercial disputes involving both domestic and foreign parties. It was established in 1994 but until 1999 it was conducting its activity in an internal legal vacuum. Notwithstanding being a signatory to key international agreements: European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration (hereinafter “European Convention”) and Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (hereinafter “New York Convention”), before 1999 the Republic of Belarus had not had national arbitration laws.
In 1996 the status of the IAC was legalized by the Belarusian Government and it was authorized to resolve (a) disputes between foreign legal and natural persons and (b) disputes arising out of foreign economic activity, in which at least one of the parties was a non-resident of Belarus. Hence, purely domestic disputes were not arbitrable at that time.
The Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 279-Z “On the International Arbitration Court” (hereinafter “International Arbitration Law”) was enacted on 9 July 1999 and was the only arbitration law in the country until 2011, when the Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 301-Z “On Arbitration Courts” of 25 July 2011 (hereinafter “National Arbitration Law”) came into force.