To all appearances, the system of enforcing foreign and arbitral awards in Ukraine seems to comply with international principles and treaties, but in practice the law is far from perfect and some aspects of effective enforcement are hard to implement. These problems are caused by different factors, depending on the form of transnational enforcement process, but are mainly due to legal conflicts and gaps between national legislation.

Legislative framework

The enforcement of foreign judgments in private law matters (including commercial arbitration) is regulated by the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine. According to the Code, foreign judgments (including arbitral awards) are enforced in Ukraine after their recognition by the district court, provided that there is a respective international treaty (bilateral agreement) or upon the reciprocity principle.

Ukraine is member to a significant number of bilateral agreements and multilateral conventions regulating legal assistance between states in the process of recognising and enforcing foreign awards. Such agreements on provision of legal assistance in civil and criminal cases are signed with most CIS and East European countries. Ukraine has also adopted the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration (1961) and Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958), also known as the New York Convention, according to which each contracting state shall recognise arbitral awards as binding and enforce them in accordance with the procedural rules of the territory where the award is relied upon.

In the absence of an international agreement, national legislation establishes recognition and enforcement of judgments under the principle of reciprocity. According to the Civil Procedure Code, the reciprocity between the states shall be deemed existing unless proven otherwise. In practice, this means that the parties should demonstrate that there is no proof that the courts of the jurisdiction where the awards were rendered have refused to recognise the Ukrainian courts’ decisions.

Oct-Dec 2015 issue