How to legalize a court decision of another state in Russia?

Every year in the Russian Federation, dozens of cases on the legalization of court decisions from foreign countries are considered. A significant part of them are associated with entrepreneurial activities, economic disputes. In particular, we are talking about international debt collection.

From a procedural point of view, the justification for the recognition / enforcement of a judicial act of another state is the existence of an international agreement and / or a corresponding federal law. When resolving such legal issues, it is necessary to be guided by the “principles of reciprocity and international courtesy“.

What factors increase the chances of success?

The first and main factor is the existence of an agreement between the countries on the provision of mutual legal assistance in civil / economic matters. Such an agreement can be bilateral or multilateral.

The website of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation contains a list of 20 multilateral and 88 bilateral agreements. However, most of these agreements concern criminal matters. Russia does not have agreements on mutual legal assistance in civil and economic matters with countries such as the USA, Germany, France, Great Britain. Therefore, the procedure for legalizing the decisions of the courts of these countries in the Russian Federation has a rather high level of complexity.

If you need to go through a similar procedure, please contact the specialized specialists of the Speaker Law Firm. We have experience and knowledge of nuances!

The second factor is the impeccable preparation of documentation and strict adherence to the procedural points prescribed in the legislation. The procedure for recognizing decisions of foreign courts is devoted to:
• Chapter 31 of the Arbitration Procedure Code (APCRF).
• Chapter 45 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPCRF).

A priori, judges scrutinize materials of foreign origin more thoroughly than documents submitted by residents. The chances that even the smallest errors or inaccuracies will be overlooked are virtually nonexistent.

*** Information about ratified international conventions.

In the summer of 2019, there was a lot of excitement among interested parties around the signing by Russia of the Hague Convention on the Recognition of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Cases.

The Russian Federation has not ratified this convention! The representative of the Russian Federation has just signed the Final Act of the Hague Conference on Private International Law 2019 (HCCH 2019).

The most significant international document in the field of resolving economic disputes is the New York Convention on the Recognition of Foreign Arbitral Awards of June 10, 1958. This agreement was ratified by 159 states, including the Russian Federation.

What steps should be taken?

The norms of the APCRF and the Civil Code of the Russian Federation provide for the same scheme of legalization of acts of foreign courts. However, the practice of an arbitration court and a court of general jurisdiction is different.

Legalization of court decisions on the territory of a foreign state invariably begins with the preparation of a package of documents. Attention should be paid to the preparation of certified copies and translations.

Further, according to the norms of Article 242-246 of the APCRF, the algorithm of actions is as follows:

1. Submission of an application to the arbitration court at the location / residence of the debtor.
2. The application is considered no more than 3 months from the date of receipt. The conclusions of the foreign court are not revising on essentially.
3. The court’s assessment of the presence / absence of grounds for refusing to legalize a judicial act of another state. The list of such justifications is presented in Article 244 of the APCRF.
4. Issuance of a ruling indicating the recognition of the act of a foreign court or refusal. Such a ruling can be appealed by way of cassation within 1 month from the date of issue.
5. Issuance of a writ of execution by the same court. The limitation period for the execution of the judgment is three years from the date of its entry into force.

We have considered only the general scheme of actions. Each case has its own nuances. To take them into account and get the maximum chances of achieving a result, contact us for support!