Reciprocity & comity from a Russian perspective
The main principle of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitration awards executed in relation to commercial disputes arises from Article 241 of the Arbitrazh (Commercial) Procedural Code of the Russian Federation (the “APC”), which states that foreign judgments and arbitration awards are recognized and enforced in Russia if such is provided for by an international treaty of the Russian Federation and Russian federal law.
Russia is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (the “New York Convention”), which regulates the process of recognition and enforcement of arbitration awards, thus making it fairly straightforward. However, there is no such applicable “global” treaty for enforcing foreign court judgments in Russia. Though, since 2009 Russian courts showed a “pro-enforcement” tendency with foreign court judgments.
The principles of reciprocity and comity are not expressly stated in Russian procedural legislation. However, the latest trend in cases where there are no bilateral treaties on foreign judgment enforcement Russian courts rely upon (1) the international principle of reciprocity and comity, and (2) international treaties stipulating a person’s right to a fair and public hearing before an independent and impartial court.
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