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NATURE OF LEGAL RELIEF THROUGH THE LENS OF INTERNATIONAL CIVIL PROCEDURE

FOREIGN CIVIL PROCEDURE


V.N. KOSTSOV

V.N. KOSTSOV,
Master of Private Law, PhD Candidate,
School of International Law, Faculty of Law, National Research University
Higher School of Economics

The paper argues that legal relief should be treated as a complex notion that has both
substantive and procedural dimensions. This argument is illustrated by reference to
international disputes as a situation where legal classification has immediate practical
consequences. Building on this argument, the paper concludes that courts and tribunals
have to apply both substantive and procedural laws when resolving issues pertaining to
legal relief. The purpose of each particular legal rule should be decisive to determine its
legal nature, while other approaches to legal classification, such as textual interpretation of
legal rules, are open to criticism. The paper also reviews a number of practical cases which
could be resolved based on the suggested approach to legal classification. In particular, it
is argued that the mixed classification of legal relief is helpful to address potential conflicts
between remedies available under foreign substantive law and the procedural apparatus
of the forum court (lex fori). This approach is also potentially efficient in the context of
transnational enforcement of arbitral awards and state court judgments, and in particular
it can be used to justify the power of the enforcing court to adapt the relief ordered by the
foreign award or judgment to the procedural tradition of lex fori.

Keywords: legal relief; international civil procedure; test for procedural classification; law
governing legal relief; conflict between legal relief available under substantive law and
under forum law; transnational enforcement proceedings; international arbitration.

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