History of Arbitration in Russia - Chapter 1 - Arbitration Law of Russia: Practice and Procedure
The history of resolution of disputes by way of arbitration goes back to medieval Russia. One of the oldest examples of arbitration can be found in the contractual charter between the Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoi and Duke Vladimir the Brave of Serpukhov.1 References to arbitration of business disputes are found, inter alia, in treaties between princes in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.2
From 1353 through 1531, various Russian dukes concluded 96 charters, of which, strikingly, 73 contained an archaic form of arbitration clause!3 Some of these charters did not originally include arbitration clauses but had them affixed to them around a year after being signed.4 Arbitration existed in medieval Russia’s major regional trading centres, such as Veliky Novgorod, Arkhangelsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow and, later, trading centres on the Volga River. From the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries trade disputes in the city of Veliky Novgorod were resolved by mixed (public-private) tribunals. Prince Vsevolod set up this type of mixed tribunal as a result of efforts by merchants to reduce state intervention in their affairs. The tribunal hearings were held in the Church of John the Forerunner on the Gaizes, which was built at the expense of Novgorod’s merchants on the condition that the lower floor of the church would be reserved for commercial affairs.