Date of publication: 16 January 2018
Vladimir Zakharov, Head of Moscow Office
Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta
It’s been a long time since the advent of arbitration courts in 1992. During this time three arbitration procedure codes were adopted (in 1992, 1995 and 2002), and the latter, adopted at the initiative of the first Head of the Arbitration Court of Russia, Veniamin Yakovlev, in my opinion, is quite a good legislative act providing for the up-to-date regulation of the arbitration court procedure.
In 2003 the first arbitration courts of appeal were established; they were separated from the courts of first instance (previously, the appeal petitions were considered by another composition of judges of the court of first instance), which ensured their independence and fairness. From the middle of the noughties, in the days of Anton Ivanov, who headed the arbitration system in 2005-2014, an electronic system of justice began its development: judicial acts became publicly available and the procedural documents could have been filed in electronic form, which has significantly improved the access to justice.
In my opinion, moving towards uniformity in the case-law of arbitration courts and courts of general jurisdiction is quite a positive trend. For example, all disagreements regarding the jurisdiction of certain categories of cases have been fully resolved. In particular, claims against the individuals who stand surety for the companies they control were previously considered by arbitration courts and courts of general jurisdiction.
At the legislative level the arbitration procedure code introduced institutions that were previously related to the courts of general jurisdiction only. For example, since 2016 the arbitration courts have the right to render court orders, allowing the creditors in the non-controversial cases to quickly collect the money.
It is also significant that in general the Chamber for Commercial Disputes of the Supreme Court maintains continuity of application of the positions of the Supreme Arbitration Court and refers thereto in its judicial acts. There were certain fears as regards the preservation of a number of successful legal positions of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation after the Supreme Arbitration Court and the Supreme Court were established, however, fortunately they did not prove true. In my opinion, it is undoubtedly due to the efforts made by the present Head of the Supreme Court Vyacheslav Lebedev and the Head of Chamber for Commercial Disputes of the Supreme Court Oleg Sviridenko.
I will not probably be wrong saying that today the arbitration courts play a leading role in the development of economic law in the country. Recently, a case-law on a number of important issues has been formed, which allows for fair consideration of economic disputes. Quite many important positions were delivered by the Chamber for Commercial Disputes of the Supreme Court in the field of bankruptcy. The case-law in real estate field is developing. It would be nice if the case-law in other fields was actively developing as well.
It seems that in general the arbitration system develops in the right direction, striving for a fair resolution of disputes. It is advisable to make the motivational part of the judicial acts more decent and detailed; it is especially important for the district arbitration courts and the Chamber for Commercial Disputes of the Supreme Court. There is also need for careful monitoring of compliance with the rules of procedural law, both by the court itself and by other participants in the proceedings.