In September 2012, a group of Ukrainian and foreign experts in international arbitration founded the Ukrainian Arbitration Association (the “UAA” or the “Association”) to unite lawyers, irrespective of their nationality or place of residence, who are professionally engaged or interested in international arbitration.
This is an important step in the development of international arbitration in Ukraine. Until now the Ukrainian arbitration community has not been united, which precluded it from coordinating its efforts to improve Ukrainian arbitration law and court practice, as well as take other measures to make Ukraine a more arbitration-friendly jurisdiction.
Ukraine has implemented all major international instruments on commercial arbitration into its national legislation. As a successor of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Ukraine is one of the signatories to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 1958, and to the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration, 1961.
In 1994 Ukraine adopted a law on international commercial arbitration which, with few deviations, replicated the UNCITRAL Model Law. In 2004 Ukraine also adopted a law governing domestic arbitration.
Though with a certain amount of delay, several years ago Ukraine started adjusting its procedural legislation in support of arbitration to the above mentioned laws and conventions. These changes, albeit fragmentary, were welcomed by Ukrainian arbitration practitioners as they filled the most problematic gaps in Ukrainian procedural legislation in arbitration-related matters.
These changes concerned the recognition and enforcement of foreign and domestic arbitral awards, setting aside of arbitral awards made in Ukraine and application of interim measures in the context of the enforcement of arbitral awards in Ukraine.
However, there is still a lot to be done, and further changes require a more comprehensive approach and joint efforts from arbitration practitioners.
These factors coupled with a significant number of international arbitrations involving Ukrainian parties (about 300-400 per year) prompted the creation of the Ukrainian Arbitration Association.
Goals of the UAA
The key goals of the Association include, first of all, the promotion of Ukraine, and Kiev in particular, as the seat of arbitration, facilitation and support of interest in international arbitration, extension of knowledge and exchange of experience in cross-border dispute resolution, as well as enhancement of cooperation and communication among practitioners in international arbitration around the world.
Achieving these goals requires, inter alia, the improvement of Ukrainian legislation in the field of international arbitration and development of arbitration-friendly court practice. The Association is also planning to carry out a range of educational activities and provide Ukrainian and foreign lawyers with the most rapid and convenient access possible to information on international arbitration in Ukraine.
All the above will facilitate the creation of more favourable conditions for international arbitration in Ukraine and the enforcement of arbitral awards, so that Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian parties might choose Ukraine as the seat of arbitration more frequently.
These key goals may only be achieved by joint efforts of the individuals interested in international arbitration and in its promotion in Ukraine.
Governing bodies and the status of the UAA
The Ukrainian Arbitration Association is a non-profit organisation, which is not an arbitral institution. The Association intends to cooperate with arbitral institutions and similar professional associations on the development and promotion of international arbitration.
Tatyana Slipachuk was elected President of the Association, and the Board of Association comprises foreign and Ukrainian arbitration experts: Alexander Muranov, Vladimir Khvalei, Olena Perepelynska, Kostiantyn Likarchuk, Maksym Lavrynovych, Markian Malskyy, Noah Rubins and Yuliya Chernykh. Maksym Kodunov was elected Secretary General of the Association.
Membership in the Ukrainian Arbitration Association is open to all persons with a law degree, having professional interest in international arbitration and sharing the goals and objectives of the Association. Students can join the Association as associate members.
The Ukrainian Arbitration Association invites all practitioners and individuals interested in the development of international arbitration for active collaboration as members and associate members. More information is available on the newly-created website of the Association (currently in Ukrainian only) - www.arbitration.kiev.ua.