The Russian Arbitration Reform: Between Lights and Shadows

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Lorenzo Sasso



Russian system of alternative disputes resolution has experienced relevant development over the last few years. On December 2015, the Russian President signed two laws, which entered into force on 1 September 2016 and substantially reshaped the legal framework for arbitration in the Russian Federation. These are the Federal Law on Arbitration and the Federal Law on Amending Certain Legislative Acts, which introduced amendments to various laws including International Commercial Arbitration Law, Arbitrazh (Commercial) Procedural Code and Civil Procedural Code. The present article provides a comment on the key changes introduced by the said reform, compared to the previous state-of-play. Special attention has been given to the validity of the arbitration agreement, the arbitrability of international disputes and the denial of enforcement of an arbitral award for matters of public policy. Starting from the evolution of the Russian Supreme Court’s approach to the ground for refusal of enforcement of an international award, the article discusses the recent judgments of the Russian courts in relation to the enforcement of an arbitral award to identify the lights and shadows of the international arbitration system in Russia.

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