Civil Code Reform: Rules on Conflict of Laws


On 30 September 2013, the President signed Federal Law No. 260-FZ amending Part III of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.

The Law is the sixth set of amendments to the Russian Civil Code within the civil law reform framework. According to the Concept of Evolution of Civil Legislation (“the Concept”), the aim of the amendments is to remove the legislative uncertainties and legal gaps when it comes to regulating relations involving a foreign element regarding (i) the European experience of harmonizing private international law provisions; (ii) amendments made to other sections of the Russian Civil Code and (iii) prevalent court practice.

The new provisions of the Civil Code are drafted with due regard for the provisions of the EC Regulations “Rome I” and “Rome II”2 governing contractual and non contractual obligations. In this context, the amendments resolve the following matters: (i) they introduce rules on conflict of laws applicable to certain types of relations that were not regulated in Part III of the Civil Code; (ii) they specify the scope of the application of rules on conflict of laws; and (iii) they replace the criterion of a real connection between a contract and the specific country with the broader criterion of circumstances material to the parties’ relations and the circumstances of the case.

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