Recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration awards. Legislative changes

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Recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration awards. Legislative changes

      The Law of Ukraine No. 1837-VI “On Amendments to Legislation in respect of International Private Law” dated January 21, 2010 became effective on February 16, 2010. The amendments, inter alia, introduced a new wording of Article 390 of the Civil Procedural Code of Ukraine:

Article 390. Conditions of Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments of Foreign Courts which are Subject to Mandatory Enforcement


      1. A judgment of a foreign court (court of a foreign state; other competent bodies of the foreign states being competent to hear civil or commercial cases; foreign or international arbitration) is recognised and enforced in Ukraine, if its recognition and enforcement is provided by the international agreement ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or on the basis of the principle of reciprocity.

      2. In case the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment depends on reciprocity principle it is deemed to exist unless the contrary is proved”.
      The foregoing changes restored the regime existing since 2002 to 2005 during the validity of the Law of Ukraine No. 2860-III “On Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Court Judgments in Ukraine” dated November 29, 2001 according to which awards of foreign or international arbitration were identical to judgments of a court of a foreign state. Accordingly, today foreign/international arbitral awards shall be recognized and enforced within the territory of Ukraine under the rules of the civil procedure legislation provided for judgments of foreign courts. Thus, the uncertainty between the competence of civil and commercial courts as applicable to recognition of foreign arbitration awards most probably has been finally solved in favour of the civil courts.

      Moreover, the introduced amendments as for recognition “of judgments of foreign courts under the principle of reciprocity that is deemed to exist unless the contrary is proved” seemed to be a real breakthrough in the Ukrainian international private law. If they have been approved by the court practice, court judgments of any foreign states shall be enforced in Ukraine irrespectively to existence of corresponding international treaties of Ukraine.