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System of the jurisdiction of the Republic of Azerbaijan

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published on 4 May 2021 | reading time approx. 4 minutes




International jurisdiction

Foreigners and stateless persons, foreign legal entities and international organisations are entitled to apply to the courts of the Republic of Azerbaijan to protect their violated or disputed rights and legally protected interests.


Azerbaijani courts have international jurisdiction over civil and commercial disputes in case any of the persons involved in the proceedings is a foreigner having a place of residence, a place of stay or a usual place of arrival in Azerbaijan. Foreign legal entities may also chose Azerbaijani courts’ jurisdiction over disputes that may arise from contracts concluded between them. These instances allow the courts of Azerbaijan to consider cases involving foreigners without any international agreement. At the same time, the international jurisdiction of the Azerbaijani courts can be determined by both multilateral and bilateral agreements.


Structure

Azerbaijan has a three-tiered court system consisting of first instance, appeal and cassation instances. At first instance there are a number of specialised courts appeals from which lie to one oft he six courts of appeal. The Supreme Court ist the final appellate court. The courts of appeal and the Supreme Court are organised by chambers.


Following are the courts included in the judicial system of the Republic of Azerbaijan:

  • district (city) courts
  • courts on grave crimes;
  • Court on Grave Crimes of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic;
  • military courts;
  • administrative courts;
  • commercial courts;
  • Supreme Court of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic;
  • courts of appeal;
  • The Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Legal costs

Legal costs in Azerbaijan include state duty and judicial costs associated with the hearing of cases. A state duty is a mandatory payment to the state budget established by law and valid throughout the territory of Azerbaijan for the performance of legally significant actions or the issuance of documents. Judicial costs are the amount of money that must be withheld to pay for the labor of persons assisting in the administration of justice in a particular case, as well as to cover the costs incurred by the court in carrying out certain procedural actions specified in the law. Judicial costs are charged to partially cover the costs of the state in connection with the operation of the judiciary, to reimburse the costs and salaries of those who assist in the administration of justice, as well as to prevent unfounded appeals to the court and encourage citizens to perform their duties voluntarily.


Obligation to bear costs/reimbursement of costs

Court expenses shall be covered by persons participating in case pro rata to satisfaction of claims. Upon agreement of persons participating in case on distribution of court expenses, court shall pass a decision further to such agreement.


Court shall have the right to recover from a party filing a non-motivated claim or disputing a claim in a bad faith or causing repeated interruptions on course of fair and speedy consideration and settlement of the case compensation in favor of the state or of an opposite party for the loss of working time. Amount of such payment shall be established by court with consideration of actual circumstances within reasonable limits.


When a person applying, under the procedure specified in the law, to court for protection of rights and freedoms, protected by law interest of other persons, refuses from claim in full or in any part thereof, respondent shall, on the account of the state budget, receive compensation for the full amount of his court expenses or for the portion of his court expenses corresponding to scope of claim which have been refused from.


Average duration of legal proceedings

There is no general answer to the question how much time legal proceedings may take. It is important that the length of court proceedings is not too long and is in the public interest. Also, under certain conditions, litigation should not be too short if it adversely affects users' right to sue.


Each court must collect information on the duration of court proceedings. Pending and resolved court cases during a given period (for example, a calendar year) should be monitored separately and information on their duration should be grouped accordingly. These statistics are prepared at the national level by the relevant body (Ministry of Justice, Judicial Council, etc.).


Provisional legal protection

In Azerbaijan, provisional legal protection is granted in civil, criminal and administrative procedure. Within the limits established by law such measures are characterized by the temporary restriction of the rights and freedoms applied by the competent authorities to certain persons participating in the process. They are applied to ensure the normal course of the process and eliminate possible obstacles.


In civil cases, the judge may take measures to secure the claim at the request of the person involved in the case, which is allowed at any stage of the process. The decision to grant a provisional legal protection is temporary and does not resolve the case in advance on the merits.


In administrative procedure as a temporary measure, the court may order the defendant to take certain actions, to refrain from certain actions, or to tolerate certain actions. Where there are legal grounds, the court may impose similar obligations on third parties.


Recognition and enforcement of European titles and foreign arbitral awards

According to the Civil Procedure Code of Azerbaijan, foreign court decisions and international arbitral awards may be executed and recognized in Azerbaijan if they do not contradict the legislation and are mutually guaranteed. The Supreme Court of Azerbaijan shall consider applications for compulsory execution and recognition of foreign court decisions and international arbitral awards.


The Statute of the Azerbaijan International Commercial Arbitration Court also stipulates that the arbitral award shall be executed voluntarily, in the manner and within the period specified in the resolution. In accordance with the law on International Arbitration, the execution of an arbitral award is binding, regardless of the country of issue, and is enforced upon written request to the competent court (Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan). In accordance with Articles 34-36 of the Law, the exequatur model is applied in Azerbaijan.


Upon the ratification of New York Convention by Azerbaijan in 1999, along with the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Azerbaijan, the procedure for recognition and enforcement of these awards in 159 member countries to the Convention has been simplified..

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