The Court of the Eurasian Economic Community is Tackling Challenges of the Eurasian Integration

building of the courtThe Eurasian Economic Community (“EurAsEC”) was founded in 2000 by Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

EurAsEC is an international organisation established to promote the process of the effective formation of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, as well as of other goals and objectives related to the deepening of integration in the economic and humanitarian spheres.

However, one of the most important institutions of EurAsEC, the EurAsEC Court, only began to operate on 1 January 2012. This article discusses the competence and organisation of the EurAsEC Court.

Formation and Competence of the EurAsEC Court

The EurAsEC Court is located in Minsk (Belarus) and contains two judges from each of the five member states of EurAsEC, each appointed for a period of six years.

The Interparliamentary Assembly of EurAsEC appoints Judges on the Interstate Council of EurAsEC (at the level of Heads of State).
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Thus, this court is not a typical arbitral tribunal.
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The main purpose of the Court is to ensure the uniform application of the Treaty on the establishment of EurAsEC of 10 October 2000 and other international treaties in force within the Community and of decisions of EurAsEC bodies.

The EurAsEC Court adjudicates economic disputes arising through implementation of either decisions of EurAsEC bodies or of provisions of international treaties in force within EurAsEC.

In relation to the Customs Union, the Court considers cases on the compliance of the acts of Customs Union bodies with international treaties that constitute the legal framework of the Customs Union. It considers cases concerning contested decisions and actions of Customs Union bodies and interprets either international treaties that make up the legal framework of the Customs Union or decisions adopted by EurAsEC bodies. It also decides disputes between the Customs Union Commission and the member states of the Customs Union as well as between the member states of the Customs Union by themselves on the fulfilment of obligations undertaken within the Customs Union.
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The jurisdiction of the Court may also comprise other disputes if their resolution is provided by international treaties within EurAsEC and the Customs Union.

Member states of EurAsEC or bodies of EurAsEC can appear as parties as well as member states of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, bodies of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space and private companies.

Decisions of the EurAsEC Court are binding on the parties to the dispute.

Jurisprudence of the EurAsEC Court

The EurAsEC Court tried its first case on 26 June 2012. In that case a Russian Joint Stock Company Coal Company “Southern Kuzbass” challenged certain provisions of the Customs Union Commission Decision of 17 August 2010 № 335 “On problematic issues related to the functioning of a single customs territory, and the practice of implementing the mechanisms of the Customs Union”.

Based on the information provided on the official website of the court, so far the Court has considered only eight cases which have reached final decision.  Six cases were pending as of 1 August 2014. The vast number of claimants are commercial companies; the respondent is the Commission of the Customs Union (Eurasian Economic Commission). The claimants included large companies from India and China in connection with the adopted anti-dumping measures against them in the Community.

In addition to deciding disputes, the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning of Kazakhstan and the Supreme Economic Court of Belarus referred to the Court for clarification of EurAsEC legislation.

The Court also publishes the Bulletin of the EurAsEC Court which is its official platform for publishing decisions. Every Court decision is followed by a short press release published on the official website.

Dr. Aliaksandr Danilevich

Filip Alkhouka

About the Author:

Dr Aliaksandr Danilevich is a partner at Danilevich & Volozhinets law office in Minsk, Belarus. He has a Ph.D. in law from Belarusian State University. He is an associate professor at the department of International Private and European law of the Belarusian State University in Minsk, where he teaches Private International Law, International Arbitration and International Transport law. See full profile.

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