When you have a business dispute in Russia, you have several options for obtaining a legal decision to resolve the dispute. Many commercial disputes can be heard in the less-formal state arbitrazh court, but some issues especially disputes among individuals should be resolved by the court of general jurisdiction. Some matters may also be resolved through private arbitration, but all parties must first be in agreement. However your business dispute is resolved, the decision will be enforced through the Federal Bailiff Service, or FBS.
What Is the Federal Bailiff Service?
In Russia, the Federal Bailiff Service is responsible for the orderly functioning of the courts of law. This function is similar to bailiffs in North American courts. They are the law enforcement officers present in the courtroom and throughout the courthouse. In Russia, bailiffs are also responsible for the enforcement of court rulings and acts of other legal and governmental bodies. If the court rules, for example, that an indebted supplier must pay you a compensation, the FBS will make sure the supplier pays it or his bank accounts will be frozen. The FBS enforces rulings made by the court of general jurisdiction, state arbitrazh courts, and arbitration tribunals or the International Commercial Arbitration Court (ICAC).
How Are International Rulings Enforced?
Enforcement of rulings made within the Russian Federation is a fairly straightforward process. When a ruling regarding a business in Russia is made in a foreign court or by arbitration in another country, however, enforcement becomes more difficult. This is because a foreign judgment will only be enforced in Russia if it has been recognized by a Russian court. This recognition depends on the existence of an international treaty between the Russian Federation and the country in which a court issued the judgment.
Russia is a member of the New-York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958) and also has bilateral agreements with a number of countries concerning court judgments. However, if your business dispute was decided in a country that does not have a treaty with Russia, you will likely not be able to enforce the decision in Russia.
You May Have More Luck With an Arbitration Court
While courts of general jurisdiction will usually hold firm to the policy of not recognizing foreign rulings made in certain countries, the courts of arbitration sometimes take a more generous view. There are several recent examples of Federal Arbitral Courts and the Supreme Arbitration Court upholding the decisions made in several foreign countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and countries who are members of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Liberties as a right to a fair trial.
However, despite some positive changes, companies with business interests in Russia should understand that there is no guarantee that a ruling they obtain in a foreign country will be upheld in Russia. If it is vital that the ruling on your business dispute be enforceable in Russia, your best choice is to have the dispute heard in a Russian court or by a Russian arbitration tribunal.
Jus Privatum Has the Resources You Need
Whether you are worried about using the Russian court system to settle your dispute in the first place or you are trying to get a Russian court to enforce a decision from a foreign country, the business attorneys at Jus Privatum can help provide the assistance you need to navigate the Russian legal system. Use the form on this page to connect with us today.