The Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation (the "SAC") has indicated to the lower courts that it is not admissible to re-examine evidence that has already been examined during arbitration proceedings.
For example, after having reviewed the suit of a Cypriot supplier, the Arbitration Court at the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry (the "Arbitration Court") made the decision to order civil damages be paid by a Russian buyer because it had unlawfully refused to fulfil its agreement to take delivery of tallow from the supplier.
The first instance arbitration court and the cassation court refused to enforce the award of civil damages as ordered by the Arbitration court, noting the inconsistencies in the documents on which the supplier's position was based. As a result, the Arbitration court's decision was deemed inconsistent with Russian public policy, as it was based on spurious evidence.
However, the SAC disagreed with the lower courts, indicating that when reviewing the case for the enforcement of the recovery of civil damages awarded by the Arbitration Court, the lower courts did not have the right to check whether it was legal and well-founded. Re-examining the evidence on which the decision had been based was also not within the lower courts' jurisdiction.
The SAC's ruling confirms Russian court support for international commercial arbitration.
[Decree No. 2608/11 of the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation, dated 26 July 2011]