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Russian arbitration reform

On 29 December 2015, the Russian President signed two laws – the Federal Law on Arbitration in the Russian Federation1 and Federal Law on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation (together – the "Laws").2 As set out below, their provisions, with a number of exceptions, entered into force on 1 September 2016.

The Laws, aimed at eliminating "pocket" arbitration institutions and improving the overall quality of arbitration in Russia, are a product of a discussion which has been going over the last few years. They focus on the following key areas:

  • new mechanisms, in particular for support from Russian state courts, in line with the UNCITRAL Model Law;
  • pro-arbitration approach to the form and contents of the arbitration agreement;
  • relatively clear-cut rules on arbitrability of different types of disputes;
  • mechanisms for controlling establishment and operation of arbitration institutions; and
  • amendments to the procedure for challenging and recognising/enforcing awards.

The Laws will drastically change the arbitration landscape in Russia.

Although the Laws are a step forward, they create a number of ambiguities and potential problems. This alert does not purport to re-state the Laws or provide a detailed commentary to each of the provisions but rather focuses on these problematic areas. This alert comprises the following sections:

  • support from Russian state courts;
  • new rules on arbitration agreement;
  • arbitrability, including of corporate disputes;
  • licensing requirements for foreign arbitration institutions;
  • different regimes for institutional arbitration and ad doc arbitration;
  • challenging and enforcement of awards;
  • entry into force.


Click here to download PDF (English and Russian).


1 Federal Law No. 382-FZ dated 29 December 2015 (the "Arbitration Law").
2 Federal Law No. 409-FZ dated 29 December 2015 on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation and the Repeal of Article 6 (1)(3) of the Federal Law on Self-Regulating Organisations in connection with the Adoption of the Federal Law on Arbitration in the Russian Federation (the "Amendment Law").


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