New Procedure for Challenging Arbitrazh Court Rulings and Other Changes Resulting from Consolidation of the Supreme Courts
On 6 August 2014 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation became the highest judicial authority adjudicating civil, criminal, administrative and other types of cases as well as economic disputes. This resulted in changes to a number of acts that concern courts’ competence, the procedure for challenging arbitrazh (state commercial) court rulings and the powers of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. Below is a review of the most important legislative changes.
Change of jurisdiction
Cases on challenging regulatory acts have been removed from the jurisdiction of arbitrazh courts. Now such cases are resolved by courts of general jurisdiction and are considered based on the general rules of competence. Only cases on challenging regulatory acts handled by the Intellectual Property Court are left within the arbitrazh court system.
Disputes contesting cadastral values also fall within the remit of courts of general jurisdiction. Cases on cadastral value in the first instance are considered by courts at the level of constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
Powers of the Supreme Court to clarify issues of court practice
The Plenum of the Supreme Court can provide arbitrazh courts with clarifications/instructions on issues of court practice in order to ensure uniform application of Russian legislation.
The explanatory parts of arbitrazh courts’ rulings may contain references to resolutions of the Supreme Court as well as those resolutions of the Supreme Arbitrazh Court that continue to be in force. It has been established that clarifications of the Supreme Arbitrazh Court concerning the application of laws and other regulations are to stay in force until the relevant resolutions are adopted by the Supreme Court.
Changes in appeals procedure
The changes in many respects reflect the multistage appeal system that exists in courts of general jurisdiction. Now judicial acts of arbitrazh courts can be challenged:
– within 1 month at the court of appeal (arbitrazh courts of appeal);
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2 Legal Alert August 2014
– within 2 months at the court of cassation appeal of the first level (arbitrazh courts of circuits);
– within 2 months at the court of cassation appeal of the second level (Judicial Panel of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation);
– within 3 months at the court of supervisory appeal (Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation).
In the court of cassation appeal of the second level and in the court of supervisory appeal a two-tier resolution procedure is stipulated — a decision on transfer of the case for consideration by the Judicial Panel/Presidium of the Supreme Court is made by a judge of the Supreme Court at his/her sole discretion. In case of refusal to forward the appeal the applicant has an opportunity to address the Chairman or the Vice Chairman of the Supreme Court, who can reverse the ruling of the judge and transfer the complaint for consideration on its merits to the Judicial Panel or the Presidium of the Supreme Court respectively.
Another form of supervisory review of judicial acts in addition to those listed above is the ability to challenge judicial acts at a submission of the Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Supreme Court based on the complaints of interested persons. Such a challenge is possible within four months of the judicial acts coming into effect.
Judicial acts not considered by the date the legislative changes came into effect (6 August 2014) are to be further resolved according to the new rules.
This LEGAL ALERT is issued to inform Baker & McKenzie clients and other interested parties of legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The comments above do not constitute legal or other advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for specific advice in individual cases.