27% of jurisdictions in the world apply English law | FinReview
31 August 2019

27% of jurisdictions in the world apply English law

Since January 1, 2018, the Court and the International Arbitration Centre have been operating on the basis of the AIFC. The current Anglo-Saxon system provides an individual approach to the consideration of each case and determines a clear understanding of the procedure of legal proceedings and the predictability of regulatory enforcement, which is important for attracted investors. 10% increase in FDI and export supplies ensures to 9.2% GDP growth.

The last decade has demonstrated the instability of the global economy – the ramifications of the financial and global crises caused a slowdown in international trade, a slowdown in GDP, and a deterioration in the situation on the commodity and stock markets. As a result, there was a homeward outflow of investors from developed countries, caused by a decrease in profitability due to the high cost of resources.

Investment flows in Kazakhstan are also unstable – in the period from 2013 to 2015, FDI volumes showed negative dynamics, and the average annual growth over 10 years was only 3%.

The reasons for the low investment attractiveness of the country may be the lack of a unified institution for attracting FDI, insufficient regulatory and legal framework and poor business infrastructure. For the national economy, FDI is of high importance, since an increase in exports of Kazakhstani products and investment flows by 10% ensures a GDP growth of 9.2%, which is a sufficiently high rate. In this regard, on July 5, 2018, the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) officially opened in Kazakhstan, one of the key tasks of which is to attract foreign investment.

In order to build a favorable ecosystem for foreign investors, the Court and the International Arbitration Centre have been created on the basis of the AIFC. The AIFC court is based on the norms and principles of English law in accordance with international standards for the resolution of civil and commercial disputes. The Arbitration Centre provides an independent, economical, and more efficient alternative to litigation.

The Anglo-Saxon system operating at the AIFC is a case law, that is, an individual approach is applied in each proceeding. This provides a clear understanding of the procedure of judicial proceedings and the predictability of regulatory enforcement, which is important for attracted investors. In turn, the continental law in force in Kazakhstan allows decisions to be made based on conclusions in similar cases.

English Common Law applies in 27% of the 320 jurisdictions in the world. In turn, the city of London is the absolute leader in the world in the conduct of arbitration cases. In 2017, about 70% of the cases of the London Admiralty and Commercial Court related to international claims. According to a 2018 East European Dispute Resolution Forum survey conducted in 2018, 63% of respondents prefer the city of London as the place of arbitration. The three leaders also included the cities of Paris (53%) and Singapore (39%).

Perfect examples of the implementation of English Common Law are the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and a similar centre in Singapore. In 2018, DIFC courts reviewed 670 cases. In relation to 2017, their number increased by 29%. The highest growth was in the first instance court (CFI), the total amount of claims amounted to $2.8 billion.

In Kazakhstan, the AIFC Court is represented by 9 judges and a registrar. Lord Woolf, one of the most influential judges in recent British history of jurisprudence and a global figure in the field of common law, litigation and dispute resolution, as well as legal education, has been appointed chairman of the court. All judges are appointed by special Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The International Arbitration Centre consists of 30 international arbitrators, 18 of which can act as mediators. Among them are representatives of the EU, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Russia, Singapore, the UK, Ukraine and the USA, as well as domestic experts.

AIFC Court consists of two levels:

  1. The court of first instance – the first court in which disputes with the application of the rule will be considered. It will also hear appeals in the Small Claims Court.
    The Small Claims Court is a division of the court of first instance, with the participation of specialized judges and the procedure for cost-effective and timely resolution of disputes in the amount of up to $150 thousand.
  2. Court of Appeal – hears appeals of the court of first instance.

The AIFC Court has exclusive jurisdiction over:

– disputes arising between AIFC participants, AIFC bodies and (or) their foreign employees;

– disputes relating to any operation carried out by the AIFC and subject to the AIFC law;

– disputes submitted to the AIFC court by agreement of the parties.

The first case at the AIFC was reviewed by the Small Claims Court in April 2019. Thus, the foundation of the application of legal proceedings in the entire Eurasian region was laid.