In this article, I would like to briefly describe the procedures and statutory periods/terms in connection with commercial litigation (dispute resolution) in Azerbaijan.
Acceptance/refusal of the claim
If the court does not return the statement of claim or refuses to accept it within 5 days of its receipt, it is deemed to have been accepted.
Objection against the claim (defence)
An objection to the claim must be submitted to the court and to the claimant within 20 days upon receipt of the copy of claim.
In general, counterclaim must be submitted within 20 days.
An application on interim security measure can be submitted to the court before filing of a claim with the court, together with the claim, or within the course of court proceedings.
If the application on interim measure is submitted before submission of a statement of claim, then the court may order on application of interim measure within a period of not more than 1 month.
An application on interim measure is heard by the judge resolving the dispute in a separate proceeding without delay after the day of its entry.
A preparatory hearing is held not later than 40 days upon entry of the statement of claim to the court. All related participants of the case must be notified at least 5 business days prior to the hearing.
Submission of the documents to the defendant
The court must ensure official submission of the statement of claim and attached documents to the defendant within 5 days upon the statement of claim has been accepted to be heard by the court.
Period of time for making the decision
A case must be heard within a reasonable time, but not later than the following periods:
- 3 months – in relation to the disputes arising out of mortgage agreements and bankruptcy proceedings;
- 4 months – other disputes (inluding commercial disputes).
Due to the number of the participants of the case or complexity of organization of the hearing, these periods may be extended for a period of not more than 2 months based on the justified order of the court.
Notice to the participants
Participants of the case must be notified at least 5 business days prior to the hearing.
Limits to adjournment
Court hearing cannot be adjourned more than three times.
Expert must issue its opinion within 1 month upon receipt of the court order on the appointment of the expert by the judicial expertise center.
Draft of the court decision
Once the final part of the decision is announced, the decision must be drawn up within 10 business days.
Submission of the decision to the participants
The decision of the court must be placed in the electronic cabinets via electronic court information system within 3 days.
Entry into force
The decision enters into force within one month upon its officially receipt by the participants of the case, if the court decision has not been appealed.
Appeal against the court decision
The court decision can be appealed within one month upon officially submission thereof.
The appeal together with attached documents and case file is sent by first instance court to the court of appeal within 7 days upon expiry of the appeal period.
Once the appeal is received by the court of appeal, its admissibility is checked within 15 days.
Objections and explanations regarding the appeal
Participants of the case are entitled to submit their objections against or explanations related to the appeal within 20 daysupon receipt of the copy of appeal.
Period of time for making the decision in the court of appeal
The decision must be made within 3 months upon receipt of the case file by the court of appeal.
Entry into force
If no appeal filed against the decision of the court of appeal, the decision enters into force after 2 months have passed since it was officially submitted to the participants of the case.
The decision of the court of appeal can be appealed within 2 months upon officially submission thereof.
The cassation appeal together with attached documents and case file is sent by court of appeal to the Supreme Court within 7 days upon expiry of the appeal period.
Once the case file is received by the Supreme Court, its admissibility is checked within 15 days.
Objections and explanations regarding the cassation appeal
Participants of the case are entitled to submit their objections against or explanations related to the cassation appeal within 20 days upon receipt of the copy of the cassation appeal.
Period of time for making the decision in the Supreme Court
The decision must be made within 3 months upon the receipt of the case file by the Supreme Court.
Entry into force
The decision of the Supreme Court enters into force upon its issuance (in other words, with immediate effect).
Submission of the decision
The full text of the decision of the Supreme Court must be sent to the participants of the case within 1 month from the day of its issuance.
About the author: Fuad Gashamov is a professional lawyer with over 13 years of experience in consulting industry. He mainly specializes in dispute resolution, real estate, contracts, regulatory, intellectual property and compliance. He is the founding partner at Legalize Law Firm. He is a member of the Bar Association since 2014 and also a member of the newly established Business Committee of the Bar Association. Fuad Gashamov is also a member of the Commission on Business Environment and International Ratings of the Republic of Azerbaijan “Enforcement of contracts, resolution of disputes, closure and bankruptcy of an enterprise, judicial system and rule of law”. For more information about the author please see the following link: https://www.legalize.az/en/team/fuadgashamov