Interaction between Courts and International Arbitration in the Russian Federation - Chapter 22 - Revolution in the International Rule of Law: Essays in Honor of Don Wallace, Jr.
Alexander S. Komarov
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Private International Law Dept., Russian Academy of Foreign Trade
Prof. Alexander Komarov had worked as Legal Adviser on foreign
commercial law and private international law at the USSR Ministry of
Foreign Trade since 1972. Now he is Professor and Head of Private Law
Chair at the Russian Academy for Foreign Trade (since 1989). From
1993 to 2010 he was the President of the International Commercial
Arbitration Court at the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (ICAC). Presently he is Member of Advisory Council on Civil
Law Codification at the President of the Russian Federation.
The role and position of international arbitration and its relationship
to the state courts in modern Russia could be properly understood against
the background of historical factors which had influenced the
development of international commercial arbitration in the course of
Arbitration in the Russian Empire in the 19th century had played not
a very significant role in national legal system. It was regulated by very
rigid rules, the proceedings were very formalistic and as a result
arbitration was not highly in demand as a means of dispute settlement in
commercial turn-over. It may be submitted that at the end of the 19th
century the basic rules determining arbitration procedure and its legal
effects in Russia were not substantially different from the similar
developments that had taken place in the major part of European
countries where national industry and commerce had started to expand
due to general economic and technological achievements.
In the socialist period that followed for more than seventy years after
October revolution in 1917, the role of international arbitration was
determined by the fact that the alternative, non-State method of dispute
settlement was used only in relation to disputes arising from foreign
trade transactions. In these years, almost all economic activities in the
country, including foreign trade, were conducted by State-owned
enterprises on the basis of State monopoly. No private business had
existed in the Soviet Union until the beginning of "perestroika"
(restructuring) that started in the early 1990s. International arbitration
actually had been the only legal alternative to deal with international
commercial disputes involving Soviet partners during that period.
Already in the first international trade agreements made by the
Soviet Russia with western countries, for instance, Germany, Norway,
Italy, and Latvia in the early 1920s, ad hoc arbitration had been
stipulated as the means of settlement of disputes between western