Herald of Civil Procedure

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On Procedural Novels in Draft Legislation of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (October 2017 – January 2018)


T.V. Sakhnova

Doctor of Legal Sciences, Professor, Head of the Department of Civil Procedure 
of the Siberian Federal University 

The end of 2017 – early 2018 was characterized by an active legislative initiative of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in the field of civil procedure. The author analyzes the «October procedural revolution» and the January proposals; there are considered step by step proposed conceptual changes, their significance and consequences of adopting these initiatives and the impact on current civil procedure in the Russian Federation. The author gives a critical assessment of the proposed changes. Civil procedure is not a speculative construction of the legislator, but the social phenomenon which has been forming for the centuries into tradition of judicial protection, and the functions of the court are inevitably connected with fair justice. The implementation of the initiatives made by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in the Russian realities is assessed by the author as a possible detrimental impact on the administration of justice. The article concludes that radical legislative proposals should be subject to open scientific analysis and assessment. The proposed changes at the moment lacks clarity; the author is skeptical about attempts at «optimization» and assumptions of «ambiguous» formulations; many questions remain open, and they are procedurally deficient in its wording and need to be improved. Keywords: novelties; civil procedure; legal draft; Supreme Court of the Russian Federation; legislative initiative. D.A. FEDYAEV, Candidate of Legal Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Business Law, Civil and Arbitration Procedure of the Faculty of Law of the Perm State University When considering disputes arising from relations complicated by a foreign element, Russian courts need to assess the admissibility of accepting documents of foreign origin as evidence. When Russia jointed the Hague Convention, which abolished the requirement of legalization of foreign official documents of 1961, there was an ambiguous understanding of the requirements for the legalization of foreign documents, the purpose and essence of the apostille procedure by the national courts. In particular, there are excessive demands for apostillization of foreign documents in the absence of a substantiated necessity in the standards. First of all, this is due to the incorrect qualification of foreign commercial documents both by courts and by persons participating in the case. The latter prefer to be reinsured in order to avoid adverse consequences in the form of refusal to accept written evidence from a court of foreign origin. The author raises the question how the wording of the 1961 Hague Convention should qualify documents originating from foreign companies and whether they are required to be apostilled. As a confirmation of the ambiguity of the approaches to registration of such commercial documents, there is a lack of common opinion among specialists, as well as there are some examples of conflicting judicial practice. Taking into account the analysis of the provisions of the 1961 Hague Convention and the norms of Russian law, the author comes to the conclusion that there is no mandatory requirement for apostilling unofficial documents. 

Keywords: arbitration procedure; legalization; apostillization; admissibility of written evidence; foreign documents.


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Vorontsova I.V. O nekotorykh voprosakh predstavitel’stva inostrannykh grazhdan v arbitrazhnykh sudakh Rossijskoj Federatsii [Some Issues of Representation of Foreign Persons in Arbitration Courts of the Russian Federation]. Аrbitrazhnyj i grazhdanskij
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Information about the author

Fedyaev D.A. (Perm, Russia) – Candidate of Legal Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Business Law, Civil and Arbitration Procedure of the Faculty of Law of the Perm State University (614068, Perm, Dzerzhinskogo St., Bldg. 2, Room 80;
e-mail: fedyaev@perm.ru).

Recommended citation

Fedyaev D.A. K voprosu o neobkhodimosti apostilirovaniya neofitsial’nykh inostrannykh dokumentov v rossijskom arbitrazhnom protsesse [On the Need to Apostille Informal Foreign Documents in Russian Arbitration Procedure]. Вестник гражданского процесса = Herald of Civil Procedure, 2018, no. 2, p. 293–309. (In Russian) DOI: 10.24031/2226-0781-2018-8-2-293-309

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