On activities and competences of EAEC Court
The treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union established a new judicial body for the EAEC member states and their economic entities – The Court of the Eurasian Economic Union. This EAEC Court is a permanent judicial body and is located in the city of Minsk, the capital of the Republic of Belarus. On January 2nd 2015 the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union entered into force for the Republic of Armenia, where the provisions of the application number two of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, which establishes the rules governing the details of the court activities, have also become mandatory for our country. The activities of this court are not yet widely known in the Republic of Armenia and so here we will briefly review the functioning and objectives of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union.
The legal status of a court is established by the Statute of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union (application number 2 (two)). The main objective of the Court is to ensure uniform application by the Member States and institutions of the EAEC Treaty, international agreements in the framework of the Union, the Union’s international agreements with a third party and the outcome of the EAEC bodies. The composition of the Court shall consist of two judges from each member state, appointed for a term of nine years elected by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. The Chief Justice and his deputy are elected by the judges for the duration of three years.
The honorary judge Armen Tumanyan and the honorary judge Erna Hayriyan, are the appointed judges of the Republic of Armenia, in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council agreed at the level of Heads of State. Decisions taken by the court of the EAEC will be binding for the Republic of Armenia and the rest of the EAEC members. In addition, the EAEC legislation also provides for mechanisms for the enforcement of court decisions. In this regard, please note that the activities of this body could play an important role in the elimination of the contradictions that may arise in practice, because of gaps in the regulatory framework of the EAEC, as well as, in resolving potential conflicts of parties, taking into account the interests of all member countries of EAEC including the Republic of Armenia.
The composition of the court:
The Court of the Eurasian Economic Union takes into consideration the following cases:
- Cases by the Grand Court collegium;
- Cases by the Court of Justice of the Board;
- Cases of the Appeals by the Chamber of the Court.
In the Board of the Grand Court collegium are included one judge from each member state starting with the last name from the first letters of the Russian alphabet. Meetings of the Board shall be deemed competent if attended by one judge from each state.
The Appeals Chamber considers the application for appeal against decisions of the Board of the Grand Court collegium. The Appeals Chamber of the Court is composed of judges from the Court of Justice of the Member States that did not participate in the proceedings and/or decisions of the Board of the Grand Court collegium, which is being appealed. The meeting shall be considered valid provided that one judge from each member state is present. The appeals of the Member States of the Eurasian Economic Union are considered by the court as part of the Grand Jury.
The competence of the Court:
The competence of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union does not have the character of an international arbitration body. It is also not intended to resolve disputes arising directly from the property disputes that have arisen between the subjects of business and in accordance with the Statute of the EAEC Court. All claims for damages or other property-related requirements are left without consideration.
The question of whether the Court of the Union is competent to look at a specific case and/or dispute shall be settled by the Court of the Union. The competence of the court includes disputes arising from the implementation of the EAEC Treaty, international agreements within the Union and the decisions of the Union at the request of a Member State:
- According to an international treaty within the EAEC or its individual provisions of the EAEC Treaty;
- Compliance by another Member State of the contract, within the framework of international agreements and decisions of the EAEC, as well as, certain provisions of these international agreements and decisions;
- According to the decision of the Eurasian Economic Commission or its individual provisions of the EAEC Treaty, international agreements in the framework of the EAEC and the decisions of the EAEC bodies;
- Challenging the action (or inaction) of the ECE.
Cases pertaining to economic entities, legal entities and individual entrepreneurs are considered by the EAEC Court when:
- The compliance solutions of the ECE, or its individual provisions directly affect the rights and legitimate interests of the economic entity in the sphere of entrepreneurial and other economic activities, when the contract of the EAEC and/or international agreements in the framework of the EAEC, where such a decision or separate provisions entailed a violation provided by the contract of the EAEC and international treaties under the EAEC of the rights and legitimate interests of the economic entity;
- Challenging the action, or inaction of the Eurasian Economic Commission, directly affecting the rights and legitimate interests of economic entities in the sphere of entrepreneurial and other economic activities, when such actions, or inactions caused a violation, provided by the contract of the EAEC and international agreements in the framework of the EAEC, of the rights and legitimate interests of the economic entity.
Court jurisdiction, at the request of employees and officials of the Union, including the court, must clarify the position of the main agreement(s), international treaties within the Union and the decisions of its organs in the field of labor relations. Court EAEC provides an explanation of the provisions of the international treaty alliance with a third party, if it is provided in such an international agreement. Generally one can attribute to the competence of the court other disputes, the decision of which is stipulated by international treaties of alliance with a third party and between the member States of the union.
On pre-trial settlement of disputes:
Before one applies to this Court, the applicant should take steps to settle the matter out of court through consultation, negotiation or other means and to apply for a decision to the state, or the EAEC in the ECE. If within three months from the date of the above, the dispute(s) could not be resolved, or the Commission has not taken a decision, the applicant is entitled to appeal to the Court of EAEC. If there is mutual agreement application may be submitted post the expiration of the three month period.
The proceedings before the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union:
The proceedings are based on the principles of independence of judges, transparency of the proceedings, publicity, equality of parties to the dispute, non-controversy and collegiality. Detailed procedures for the administration of justice in the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union is enshrined in its Regulations. The trial is held in the Russian language, however, either party has the right to invite an interpreter, if necessary. The Court may request materials sent with an application to the Court, necessary to deal with cases. The Court may ask for this from business entities, competent authorities and Member States, organizations and bodies of the EAEC.
Legal proceedings should be carried out with the participation of the parties of the dispute, the applicant or their representatives, experts, including specialized groups of experts, witnesses and interpreters. Persons participating in the case enjoy the procedural rights and bear procedural obligations under the Rules. Should a Member State, or ECE consider that the decision on the dispute may affect their interests, they may apply for permission to intervene as an interested party to the dispute. The fee is paid by the business entity before submitting the application to the Court. At any stage of the proceedings, the dispute may be settled by the parties of the dispute through a settlement agreement, the applicant’s refusal of their claims, or withdrawal of declaration.
After reviewing the case The EAEC Court within 90 (ninety) days from the date of receipt of the application makes a decision, which is advisory in nature. Acts of The EAEC Court shall be published in the official bulletin of the Court and in the Court’s official website.