Kazakhstan has launched a revolutionary project for effective resolution of commercial disputes. Namely, retired judge Harry Woolf, one of the distinguished representatives of English system of justice, has been appointed as a senior judge of Commercial Court that was recently established in Kazakhstan.
Besides him, 8 other famous British judges and influential defense lawyers will work in the mentioned court. Similar instances have been already shaped in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. The new court in Kazakhstan was organized as part of Kazakhstan Modernization Program, which aims at transforming the country into a key financial hub in Central Asia.
“This is the first similar court in Eurasia. Kazakhstan has very long borders with Prussia and China. And China is shaping the New Silk Road that will cross Kazakhstan. Therefore, Court of Commerce has all preconditions for success”, Lord Woolf noted.
All judges come from Great Britain and the court will follow English legislation, in practice.
The Caucasus Business Week (CBW) has inquired whether Georgia may also share this experience of Kazakhstan and whether the British model will justify in our country.
It turns out that, like Kazakhstan, domestic business sector in Georgia welcomes the idea of establishing the commercial court in the country.
Currently, establishment of Commercial Court is not on the agenda, however, the idea is very interesting, Business Ombudsman Irakli Lekvinadze noted.
“I think this process should be analyzed there, where it was underway, to determine how successfully this undertaking will work there and how it will justify in practical life. Before, it is difficult to talk about establishing British Commercial Court in Georgia. However, the idea is genuinely interesting and special. Kazakhstan is the first Post-Soviet country, where this innovation was established and we should examine this specific yet. In our case a lot of factors should be taken into consideration, because our country has different peculiarity. In general, it is early to talk about this issue in details”, Lekvinadze noted.
TechnoBoom founder Anzor Kokoladze pointed out that Britain is one of the special countries in the court system and the project will succeed in Georgia if the process is carried out in a good manner.
“It is famous that sometimes domestic judges lack for due qualifications to discuss business disputes. There are two issues – honesty, on the one hand, and staff shortage, on the other hand. If the whole process is implemented properly and transparently, the mentioned initiative may eradicate the current problems”, Kokoladze said.
Senta Petroleum founder Zaal Iakobidze also backs the idea of implementing the process transparently. Iakobidze told the CBW that the British judges should own full-scale legitimacy. In this case, the project has the chance to succeed in Georgia too.
This is a very interesting idea. If British Commercial Court launch operation in Georgia, the judge should have full legitimacy and their decisions should be ultimate. I know from my experience that the situation is heavy in Georgia in this respect. Therefore, this project would be a step forward for Georgia”, Iakobidze noted.
Regretfully, the court system in Georgia is in grave situation and it will be wonderful if a new circle of lawyers is shaped. As to the Kazakh model, it is genuinely acceptable. None of the parties trust the court system because of the existing situation”, David Begiashvili, founder of Albatros company, noted.
Fady Asly, head of International Chamber of Commerce Georgia (ICC Georgia), also hails the idea of establishing British Commercial Court. This project will ensure safe environment for foreign investors, he said.
“Arrival of British judges to Kazakhstan is a genuinely good idea. Only problem is that the judges will arrive there only 5 times a year and I suppose this will not be sufficient. However, the initiative is very good in itself. If this project is implemented in Georgia, number of foreign investors will increase in the country. In case of problems, investors will be sure to resolve them by court. As a result, corruption will be defeated. Therefore, this is a fantastic idea for Georgia too”, Fady Asly said.