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American Review of International Arbitration - ARIA
ARIA Vol. 4 No. 4 1993
Shortly after the Soviet Union dissolved on New Year's Eve 1991, the Russian government set about amending and expanding the legal framework for commercial and administrative dispute resolution within the Russian Federation. The judicial and arbitral institutions of the Soviet era had become largely obsolete, ill‑suited to the new demands of nascent private enterprise and international trade. Former Soviet republics had become independent foreign states; new treaties had to be signed, and new means of resolving cross‑border commercial disputes devised. Critical to this enterprise was an effective system for resolving commercial disputes between private parties, between private parties and branches of the state, and between newly independent republics -- especially those comprising the Commonwealth of Independent States ("C.I.S.").
Early in 1992, the Russian Supreme Council responded by transforming the Soviet State Arbitration Board ("Gosarbitrazh") into the Arbitration Court ("Arbitrazhnyi sud"), and by augmenting the utility of ad hoc arbitration, which during the Soviet period had languished as a largely theoretical option. In particular, the Supreme Soviet enacted a new Arbitral Code of Procedure in March of 1992, and amended the Law Concerning the Arbitration Court in June of the same year. Later it recommissioned the Arbitration Court and Maritime Arbitration Commission at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation ("C.C.I.") in January of 1993, and the following July enacted a law on international commercial arbitration that is substantially identical to the UNCITRAL Model Law. The resulting legislative framework modernized the judicial and arbitral options that had been available during the Soviet era -- often only in theory -- and expanded them to cope with the needs of domestic and international commercial enterprise. There are now three primary fora for commercial dispute resolution within the Russian Federation: (1) the C.C.I. tribunals, (2) the arbitration court system and (3) ad hoc arbitration.
William R. Spiegelberger - J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1994.