Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in the Russian Federation - SIAR 2005-1
Vladimir Khvalei, Partner, Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited, Moscow
Jonas Benedictsson, Partner, Baker & McKenzie Advokatbyrå, Stockholm
Originally from: Stockholm International Arbitration Review
RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN ARBITRAL AWARDS IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION*
By Vladimir Khvalei**
& Jonas Benedictsson***
The revised Russian Federation Code of Arbitrazh Procedure (CAP), which governs the modi operandi of state commercial courts, came into force on 1 September 2002. In the Russian Federation, arbitrazh, or state arbitration courts, are commercial courts that have jurisdiction over commercial disputes. In addition to such commercial courts, there are also courts of general jurisdiction, which have jurisdiction over non-commercial disputes.
Historically, i.e., since Soviet times, it is the courts of general jurisdiction that have had the authority to decide whether foreign arbitral awards were to be recognized and enforced. However, when the old Code of Arbitrazh Procedure was amended in 1995 to clarify the powers of commercial courts (also referred to herein as "commercial courts"), these courts construed the changes as entitling them to decide on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. However, since the Code of Civil Procedure was not amended accordingly, the courts of general jurisdiction had continued to regard themselves as being competent to sit in judgment on such matters.
As a result, for a seven-year period--from 1995 to 2002--it was possible to file applications for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards with both commercial courts and courts of general jurisdiction. Yet, the practices of these two different categories of courts were not always identical with respect to the same issues.