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Working paper

Executing the Decisions of Foreign Courts and the Question of Sovereignty in Russia

The author examines the theoretical difficulties of implementing decisions and awards of foreign courts in Russia.  Along with the normative conditions of recognizing and enforcing foreign decisions, the author draws attention to the educational background of legal professionals  – especially judges  –  in Russia.  It is suggested that the statist conception of law inherited from Soviet legal science  implicitly leads the contemporary Russian legal doctrine of negating the obligatory force of decisions from foreign courts. In the opinion of the author, the core of this conception resides in the traditional concept of sovereignty, which excludes the direct effect of legal acts made by foreign states, private arbitrations, and international organizations. Nevertheless, some signs of changes in the attitude of the Russian judiciary can be marked in several precedential rulings of the commercial courts. The  author concludes that there are tendencies that are symptomatic of a different concept of law developing in the mentality of legal professionals in Russia.