The Decisions of the Court of Eurasian Economic Union Have a Binding Nature
The Court of the Eurasian Economic Union operating since the present year is one of the most important bodies of the Union. But what is it? What are its features? How is Armenia represented in this body?
Answers to the questions regarding the Court of EEU are given by Dr. Gevorg Tumanov, a Partner and Chair of International Practice Group of ELL PARTNERSHIP Law Firm.
What is the Court of Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)?
On 9, October 2014 the Republic of Armenia signed a treaty in Astana to join the EEU, which came into effect on 1, January 2015. Thereafter, the judicial body of the EEU, the Court of EEU, began to operate. The formation of the Court of EEU, its status, judges, jurisdiction, and the functioning are defined by the Statute of the Court of EEU (Treaty on The Eurasian Economic Union, Appendix 2).
Who appoints the President of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union? How are the judges selected and how long is the service term?
The procedures for appointment of judges are defined in the Statute of the Court of EEU. The judges are appointed to their positions by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council from the representative judges of the member states. The term of the office is nine years.
Tell us about the judges representing Armenia and the official working language at the court.
Erna Hayriyan and Armen Tumanyan were appointed as judges of the Court of the Union in the beginning of 2015. In accordance with the policies of the EEU, the official language at the court is the Russian language; hence the documentation and proceedings are conducted in Russian. However, the interests of such economic entities from many countries with different languages are not overlooked, and the procedural rules allow the participation of an interpreter when needed.
Please tell us about the jurisdictions of the Court.
The court examines disputes arising out from the Treaty of EEU, the international treaties between the Union and third parties and from the implementation issues of the Union's decision-making bodies. Questions examined are based on the EEU member state’s inquiries, and are mainly relating to the protection of international treaties formed within the Union by other member states, the compliance between the decisions of Eurasian Economic Commission, the EEU Treaty and the international treaties made within the Union, and even issues relating to the acts or omissions of the Eurasian Economic Commission are resolved. As for the legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, their inquiries can be used to contest the decisions of the Eurasian Economic Commission that may affect the rights and legitimate interests of those entities. The Court has jurisdiction to clarify the provisions of the main treaty, the provisions of the international treaties made within the Union and the decisions of Union members on the labor relationships. Other disputes whose resolutions are determined by the provisions of the treaties made by third parties and EU member states can also fall within the jurisdiction of the Court.
What is the Court’s examination procedure of the applications?
Firstly, it is necessary for the parties concerned to apply to the Eurasian Economic Commission and try to settle the dispute in a pre-trial three-month period. If they do not manage it or if the EEC does not decide in a three-month period, only, in that situation, it is possible to apply to the Court. The examination procedure of the cases is defined by the Court’s regulations. This procedure, to some extent, is similar to the basics of any judicial procedure. It consists of written and oral phases. The written phase includes applying to the Court and the submission of documents and materials. The oral phase of the court proceedings includes listening to the parties, experts, and specialists, case study and disclosure. I should also note that if the decision is made, then it is binding in nature. The EEU Law stipulates that if the Court’s decision is not implemented, the concerned party can apply to the Court, while the member state or the Court can apply to the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, i.e. to the heads of the states, in order to force the other party to execute the Court’s decision.
Is the Court more like an interstate body or does it have features of international commercial arbitration?
No. The Court of EEU is an international judicial body. It is not an international commercial arbitration.
Is there an analog of any kind of prosecutor’s office provided in EEU Court system?
There are not such analogs in the Court. One of the principles of the court proceedings is the principle of competition, according to which the claimant is obliged to prove his or her claim, while the defendant has the right to present his or her objection to the claim made against him or her.
Which legislation is the decision of the Court of EEU based on? For example, the new Customs Union Code is in the drafting stage; for this reason, what regulations should there be implemented for the disputes?
According to the Court’s rules, the general principles and norms of the international law, the treaties signed in the framework of the Union and international treaties are applied. The decisions and orders of the bodies of the Union, as well as the international customary law, which is an evidence of general practice and is recognized as a legal norm, are also applied. Before the EEU Customs Code comes into force, the customs regulation in the Union is being implemented in accordance with the Treaty on the Customs Code of the Customs Union signed on 27, November 2009, and in accordance with other international treaties of the member states concluded within the frameworks of the contractual legal basis between the Customs Union and the Common economic space.
Are there already decisions held by the Court of EEU?
Yes, there are. The first decision of the Court was held on 10, March 2015, and the last one was held on 27, October 2015. Overall, seven decisions have been held.