Substantive Ordre Public in Russian Case Law on the Recognition, Enforcement and Setting Aside of International Arbitral Awards – Vol. 20 No. 2

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Authors: Dmitry Davydenko* and Eugenia Kurzynsky-Singer**

Published: July 2010

Enforcement of Arbitral Awards
National Institutions and Rules
New York Convention



The recognition and enforcement of international arbitral awards in Russia is carried out in accordance with the rules established by the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958 (the “New York Convention”), as well as by the Law of the Russian Federation “on International Commercial Arbitration” of 1993 and the Commercial (“Arbitrazhnyi”) Procedure Code of 2002 (the “CPC”). The provisions in these Russian laws on recognition and enforcement essentially reproduce the relevant clauses in the New York Convention.

Under Article 244(1)(7) of the CPC and Article 36(1)(2) of the Russian Federation Law on International Commercial Arbitration, a Russian court may refuse to recognize and enforce an arbitral award if it is contrary to Russian public policy (ordre public). This ground is also stipulated in the New York Convention (Art. V(2)(b)). If the same Russian court determines that a Russian arbitral award violates Russian public policy, it may also set aside the award. Therefore, the means by which Russian courts interpret the public policy clause may be a key factor for parties in international commercial arbitration.

Russian courts are generally prohibited from reviewing an arbitral award on the merits; however, the public policy clause establishes de facto an exception to this rule. Public policy, in the context of the recognition and enforcement of international arbitral awards, is a broad and vague term; it encompasses both substantive and procedural law. This article addresses the complicated scope of substantive public policy in Russia…

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*Dr. iur., Director of the Instit. of Private International and Comparative Law, associate at Muranov, Chernyakov & Partners, Moscow, Russia.
**Dr. ius., Senior Research Fellow of Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg, Germany.