World Monitor Mag WM_June 2018 web - Page 63

EXPERT OPINION that such property is located in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan) or rights thereto The above provisions bring into question the possibility of execution of arbitration and/ or choice-of-court clauses in privatization agreements with the Republic of Uzbekistan with respect to examination of the above categories of disputes by foreign courts or arbitration tribunals. It is not entirely clear to what extent such rules would affect the validity of arbitration/choiceof-court agreements previously concluded. We believe that the answers to the above questions will be given in subsequent law enforcement practice, including by means of adoption of resolutions by the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards One of the significant novelties of the CEP is the introduction of Chapter 33, which regulates the issues of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards on commercial matters. Previously, such issues were regulated only by Resolution No. 248 of the Plenum of the Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan of 24 May 2013 “On Certain Issues Relating to the Application of Legislative Acts When Examined by Economic Courts of Cases Relating to Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Arbitral Awards and Fulfilment of Foreign Courts’ Requests.” In accordance with the abovementioned chapter, foreign judgments and arbitral awards are recognized and enforced by economic courts of the Republic of Uzbekistan, if (i) recognition and enforcement of such judgments are provided for by relevant international treaties, and (ii) by the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Accordingly, in the absence of an appropriate international treaty or provisions of the national law, foreign judgments or arbitral awards are not enforceable in Uzbekistan. 6 The CEP provides for a three-year period for filing applications for foreign judgments to be recognized and enforced in Uzbekistan which starts to run from the date a judgment enters into legal force, unless otherwise provided by an international treaty to which the Republic of Uzbekistan is a party. In accordance with the new provisions of the CEP, foreign judgments or arbitral awards with respect to disputes and other matters arising in the economic sphere are recognized and enforced by Uzbek economic courts at debtor’s location or place of residence or, if debtor’s location or place of residence is unknown, at the place of debtor’s state registration. Based on this rule, it is likely that foreign judgments would be unenforceable in Uzbekistan if a debtor is not an Uzbek resident, although debtor’s property is located in the territory of Uzbekistan. The maximum period for examination of applications for recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments is six months. However, a court’s decision to recognize and enforce a foreign judgment is subject to appeal in the appellate or cassation procedure. The CEP provides grounds for refusal to recognize and enforce foreign judgments and arbitral awards. However, certain grounds are not in full compliance with provisions of international treaties to which Uzbekistan is a party. Accordingly, there is a certain risk that, in case of conflict between an international treaty and national legislation, Uzbek economic courts would apply national legislation despite the fact that provisions of the international treaty prevail. In accordance with Article 254 of CEP, when examining a case relating to recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, Uzbek courts may not review the judgments on the merits. However, in terms of foreign judgments, one of the grounds for the refusal to recognize and enforce a judgment is that it contradicts basic principles of legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Experience of applying similar provisions of legislation by courts of neighboring states (for example, Kazakhstan) has proven that local supported by EUROBAK 59 EXPERT OPINION that such property is located in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan) or rights thereto The above provisions bring into question the possibility of execution of arbitration and/ or choice-of-court clauses in privatization agreements with the Republic of Uzbekistan with respect to examination of the above categories of disputes by foreign courts or arbitration tribunals. It is not entirely clear to what extent such rules would affect the validity of arbitration/choice- of-court agreements previously concluded. We believe that the answers to the above questions will be given in subsequent law enforcement practice, including by means of adoption of resolutions by the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards One of the significant novelties of the CEP is the introduction of Chapter 33, which regulates the issues of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards on commercial matters. Previously, such issues were regulated only by Resolution No. 248 of the Plenum of the Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan of 24 May 2013 “On Certain Issues Relating to the Application of Legislative Acts When Examined by Economic Courts of Cases Relating to Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Arbitral Awards and Fulfilment of Foreign Courts’ Requests.” In accordance with the above- mentioned chapter, foreign judgments and arbitral awards are recognized and enforced by economic courts of the Republic of Uzbekistan, if (i) recognition and enforcement of such judgments are provided for by relevant international treaties, and (ii) by the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Accordingly, in the absence of an appropriate international treaty or provisions of the national law, foreign judgments or arbitral awards are not enforceable in Uzbekistan. 6 The CEP provides for a three-year period for filing applications for foreign judgments to be recognized and enforced in Uzbekistan which starts to run from the date a judgment enters into legal force, unless otherwise provided by an international treaty to which the Republic of Uzbekistan is a party. 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