Integrating integration: judgements of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union in the legal order of the Russian Federation

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Authors: Ilya Lifshits, David Kitsmarishvili

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2024-1-75-97

Keywords: EAEU Court; proceedings upon discovery of the new circumstances; decisions of international courts; law of integration union; interaction of national and international legal systems


Russian courts over the past few years have established a clear position on the legal role of the judgements of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU Court) declaring legal acts of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC, Commission) on the classification of goods inconsistent with the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union. Several reasons for rejecting the legal force of such judgements of the EAEU Court have been formulated, while some of such grounds originate from the Russian legal order and one originates from the legal order of the Eurasian Economic Union. The reason deriving from the international law which has become fatal for the legal fate of the judgements of the EAEU Court, was paragraph 102 of the Statute of the Court stipulating that the judgements of the EAEU Court cannot abrogate or change the law of the Union. Accordingly, all Russian courts, including the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court, have reached a unanimous opinion on the continuing nature of the EEC legal acts despite the declaration of such acts as illegal by the EAEU Court. Thus, legal acts of public authority – the Eurasian Economic Commission – are legally effective on the territory of the Russian Federation, but there are no ordinary legal means to challenge such acts. Undoubtedly, such a situation is intolerable, since, in fact, it is a legal deadlock and, moreover, it infringes the right to judicial protection provided for by the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Based on the analysis of the practice of Russian courts, the authors conclude that remediation of this shortcoming of the legal system of the EAEU would allow Russian courts to admit legal role of the decisions of the EAEU Court. Russian procedural legislation, in particular, the provisions of the Arbitration Procedure Code on the possibility of case reconsideration on the base of the new circumstances – in case of revocation of the ruling of another body – can also be used in relation to legal acts of the Commission which were recognized as contradicting to the acts of a higher level, i.e. to the EAEU Treaty, to the Customs Code and to other treaties within the EAEU. Prior to amendments to the Statute of the EAEU, the way to remediate of this shortcoming could be the decision of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on the procedure for the enforcement of the EAEU Court judgements invalidating the legal acts of the EEC.

About the authors: Ilya Lifshits – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Professor, Russian Foreign Trade Academy, Moscow, Russia; David Kitsmarishvili – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Attorney-at-Law, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Lifshits I., Kitsmarishvili D. (2024) Integriruya integratsiyu: resheniya Suda Evraziyskogo ekonomicheskogo soyuza v pravoporyadke Rossiyskoy Federatsii [Integrating integration: judgements of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union in the legal order of the Russian Federation]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 75–97. (In Russian).