Commercial Disputes Resolution in Ukraine During 2022: Courts and ICAC Have Withstood Despite the War
16. 05. 2023
In the first days and weeks into the unprovoked and unjustified full-scale aggression of Russia against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, ten Ukrainian regions (Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Mykolaiv) were partially occupied, and all the territory of Ukraine was under constant threat of missile strikes.
Courts and the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce (“ICAC“) that found themselves in the endangered areas suspended their operations or restricted access to the premises forthwith.
In the wake of the Battle of Kyiv, as the invading troops were pushed away from Kyiv and the entire north and north-west of Ukraine were liberated most of the courts and ICAC located in war-affected areas of Ukraine resumed consideration of cases in the more or less regular fashion, taking into account safety issues, in particular, the constant threat of missile and drone attacks. Since October 2022 Ukraine also had to cope with electricity cuts caused by attacks on the energy infrastructure objects.
Despite all the difficulties and threats the Ukrainian judiciary maintained the efficient operation to the utmost. Statistical data shows that during 2022 the number of cases received and considered by the Ukrainian commercial courts was enormous as for the times of war:
- first instance
- number of received claims and applications – 107 761 (in 2021 it was 145 666),
- number of resolved cases – 73 593 (in 2021 it was 111 041),
- the average length of proceedings – 129 days (in 2021 it was 92 days),
- appellate instance
- number of received cases and applications – 22 885 (in 2021 it was 34 865),
- number of resolved cases – 16 439 (in 2021 it was 27 843),
- the average length of proceedings – 109 days (in 2021 it was 99 days),
- cassation instance
- number of received cases and applications – 8 746 (in 2021 it was 14 455),
- number of resolved cases and applications – 7 197 (in 2021 it was 12 550).
At the same time, as reported by ICAC during the 2022 calendar year:
- it accepted 373 new claims for consideration, which is a 25% increase to the 298 claims the ICAC received in 2021;
- 202 cases were resolved by arbitral tribunals during 2022 (as compared to 263 in 2021);
- 86.1% of cases were resolved within half a year from the date of formation of the arbitral tribunal (as compared to 84.4% in 2021).
In the time of war, when any region in Ukraine is exposed to Russian missile strikes every day, these numbers prove but strong commitment and dedication to justice. Ukrainian institutions keep on operating notwithstanding rough times and extraordinary circumstances so that both Ukrainian and foreign businesses could seek the protection of their interests in Ukrainian courts and ICAC.