The Civil Code of the Russian Federation

(with the Additions and Amendments of February 20, August 12, 1996,
October 24, 1997, July 8, December 17, 1999, April 16, May 15,
November 26, 2001, March 21, November 14, 26, 2002,
January 10, March 26, November 11, December 23, 2003)

Part III
Section VI
Chapter 66
General Provisions

Chapter 66. General Provisions

Article 1186. Determining the Law Governing Civil Legal Relations Involving the Participation of Foreign Persons or Civil Legal Relations Complicated by Another Foreign Factor


1. The law applicable to civil legal relations involving the participation of foreign citizens or foreign legal entities or civil legal relations complicated by another foreign factor, in particular, in cases when an object of civil rights is located abroad shall be determined on the basis of international treaties of the Russian Federation, the present Code, other laws (Item 2 of Article 3) and usage recognised in the Russian Federation. The peculiarities of determining the law subject to application by the international commercial arbitration tribunal shall be established by a law on the international commercial arbitration tribunal.
2. If under Item 1 of the present article it is impossible to determine the law subject to application the law of the country with which a civil legal relation complicated by a foreign factor is most closely related shall apply.
3. If an international treaty of the Russian Federation contains substantive law norms governing a relevant relation, a definition on the basis of law of conflict norms governing the matters fully regulated by such substantive law norms is prohibited.

Article 1187. Construction of Legal Terms in the Definition of Applicable Law


1. When applicable law is being defined legal terms shall be construed in compliance with the Russian law, except as otherwise required by law.
2. If, when applicable law is being defined, legal terms that require qualification are not known to Russian law or are known in another wording or with another content and if they cannot be defined by means of construction under Russian law a foreign law may be applied to the construction thereof.

Article 1188. The Application of the Law of a Country with Several Legal Systems


In cases when the law of a country where several systems of law are in effect the system of law defined in compliance with the law of that country shall apply. If under the law of that country it is impossible to define which of the systems of law is applicable the system of law to which the relation is the strongest shall apply.

Article 1189. Reciprocity


1. A foreign law shall be applicable in the Russian Federation, irrespective of the applicability of Russian law to relations of the kind in the relevant foreign state, except for cases when the application of a foreign law on reciprocal basis is required by law.
2. Where the application of a foreign law depends on reciprocity such a reciprocity shall be deemed to exist unless the contrary is proven.

Article 1190. Reverse Reference


1. Any reference to a foreign law in compliance with the rules of the present section shall be deemed a reference to substantive law rather than the law of conflict of the relevant country, except for the cases specified in Item 2 of the present article.
2. A reverse reference of a foreign law may be accepted in the cases of reference to the Russian law defining the legal status of a natural person (Articles 1195 - 1200).

Article 1191. Establishing the Content of Foreign Law Norms


1. Where a foreign law is applied a court shall establish the content of its norms in compliance with the official construction, application practices and doctrine thereof in the relevant foreign state.
2. For the purpose of establishing the content of norms of a foreign law a court may apply in the established manner to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and other competent bodies or organisations in the Russian Federation and abroad for assistance and clarification or may use the services of experts. Persons being party to a case may present documents confirming the content of foreign law norms to which they refer to substantiate their claims or objections and provide other assistance to a court in establishing the content of these norms.
As concerns claims relating to the pursuance of entrepreneurial activity by parties, the burden of proving the content of foreign law norms may be vested by a court in the parties.
3. If, despite measures taken in compliance with the present articles, the content of foreign law norms fails to be established within a reasonable term, the Russian law shall apply.

Article 1192. Application of Imperative Norms


1. The regulations of the present section shall not affect the applicability of the imperative norms of the legislation of the Russian Federation which, due to indication in the imperative norms themselves or due to their special significance, in particular, for safeguarding the rights and law-protected interests of participants in civil law relations, regulate relevant relations, irrespective of the law that is subject to application.
2. According to the rules of the present section, when the law of any country is applied a court may take into account imperative norms of another country closely related to the relationship if under the law of that country such norms are to govern relevant relations, irrespective of the law that is subject to application. In such cases the court shall take into account the purpose and nature of such norms and also the consequences of their application or non-application.

Article 1193. Public Order Clause


A norm of a foreign law subject to application in keeping with the rules of the present section shall not be applicable in exceptional cases when the consequences of its application would have obviously been in conflict with the fundamentals of law and order (public order) of the Russian Federation. In such a case a relevant norm of Russian law shall be applied if necessary.
A refusal to apply a norm of a foreign law shall not be based exclusively on a difference of the legal, political or economic systems of a relevant foreign state from the legal, political or economic system of the Russian Federation.

Article 1194. Retortions


The Government of the Russian Federation may establish reciprocal limitations (retortions) on the proprietary and personal non-proprietary rights of citizens and legal entities of the states where special limitations exist on the proprietary and personal non-proprietary rights of Russian citizens and legal entities.

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