Changed rules governing state arbitration court proceedings.
Legal Update 181.
Goltsblat BLP advises that Federal law of 27 July 2010 No. 228-FZ “On amendment of the Arbitration Procedure Code of the Russian Federation” comes into effect on 1 November 2010.
The new APC RF rules will be binding on current and future participants in court cases.
The main changes include:
Internet submission of documents
Service documents may be submitted in electronic format by completing special forms on the court website. Electronic versions of attachments to statements of claim and other documents are recognised as written evidence on the case, but the court can still demand the originals.
Video-conferencing and audio-recording in the courtroom
It is now possible to take part in a court sitting by videoconference and to take the minutes of the sitting by audio-recording. The first of these saves on the costs of actually attending the hearing, which may be held some distance from the state arbitration court. Audio-recording means continuous recording of all the details of the hearing and the possibility of referring to it when, for instance, filing objections to the minutes.
Changed rules for the court to notify participants in a dispute
The claimant is now required to attach to a statement of claim an excerpt from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities issued within the last 30 days for the claimant and the respondent. It is considered sufficient for the court to send notifications to the address indicated therein, unless the party requests that they be sent to a different address. Legal entities must, therefore, keep a watchful eye on correspondence arriving at their address as per the Companies’ Register.
If a participant in a court case has been notified once of proceedings being initiated, it will subsequently be deemed to have been duly notified by the court posting information on the hearings on the Internet. The course of the proceedings must, therefore, be monitored using the Arbitration Cases Log on the website of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation (http://kad.arbitr.ru).
The court is subsequently entitled to notify the parties by sending a telephone message, telegram, fax or e-mail to the relevant number and e-mail addresses that the parties are now required to indicate in the statement of claim and the statement of defence.
Distribution of the burden of proof
Unless a party disputes circumstances referred to by another party in the proceedings, they will be deemed accepted by the former. This rule greatly increases the risks for a party that fails to attend a hearing or to file a defence or clarification with the court.
Limited access to cassation appeal
A decision of a first instance court may be appealed to the cassation court only after it has been reviewed by a court of appeal or an application for reinstatement of the statute of limitations for an appeal has been rejected. A party that disagrees with a first instance court ruling cannot, therefore, skip the appeal instance and complain directly to the cassation court.
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