By 17 January, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

New Amendments to the Russian Law on International Commercial Arbitration

The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation has recently proposed amendments to the Federal Law “On International Commercial Arbitration”.

The amendments reflect more than fifteen years of application of that Law. They also reflect the 2006 amendments to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration which was the basis for the Russian Law. In particular, the Ministry’s draft proposes the following changes:

  • to ensure that observance of good faith and generally recognized principles of law are taken into consideration in interpreting foreign law;
  • allow conclusion of arbitration agreements in various forms, including e-mails exchange;
  • regulate in more detail provisions on granting interim measures by international arbitral tribunals;
  • enable parties to agree about finality of the arbitral award, without the option of its challenging it in court (by analogy to the provision of the Federal Law “On Arbitration Courts in the Russian Federation” 2002).

The proposed amendments purport to bring the Russian regulation in line with international standards, such as making the form of arbitration agreements more flexible. Also they aim to make Russian law related to international arbitration more predictable.

For historical reasons, international commercial arbitration with arbitration seats in countries like Russia. However, there is a steady tendency for growth.  Given the confidential nature of international business transactions and arbitral proceedings, one cannot produce exact statistical data as to how often Russian persons settle their disputes by arbitration.

It is beyond doubt, however, that in international transactions international commercial arbitration has traditionally been the primary means of dispute resolution. Being participants of international trade, Russian businesses also increasingly resort to international arbitration.

The amendments indicate the business’ need for efficient resolution of international disputes. In the light of this, they should no doubt be welcomed. On the other hand, these amendments fall short of completely reaching this goal: for example, the provisions on enforcement of the interim relief granted by commercial court contained in the UNCITRAL Model Law were not included in the law.

The full text of the Draft law is available here (in Russian).

Dmitry Davydenko
Muranov, Chernyakov & Partners, Moscow

About the Author:

Prof Yarik Kryvoi, MCIArb is the founder and co-editor of the CIS Arbitration Forum. He is the Senior Research Fellow in International Economic Law and Director of the Investment Treaty Forum at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL). He holds law degrees from Harvard, Moscow and St Petersburg. He has been teaching and practicing international arbitration in Russia, the United States and England for over ten years and is listed as arbitrator by several arbitration institutions. Prof Kryvoi also served as a Co-Chair of the International Courts Committee of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law. He also serves a tutor at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London. See full profile at kryvoi.net.

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