This Country Answer reflects the state of the law as of 31 December 2012. Please refer to the explanations in the chapter entitled Preliminary Note.

A. The Contracting State and the New York Convention

1. Name of Contracting State (also specify jurisdiction(s), if relevant)

Georgia.

2. Date of entry into force of the New York Convention

31 August 1994.

3. Has any reservation been made under Art. I(3) of the New York Convention regarding:

(a) reciprocity?

No.

(b) commercial relationships?

No.

4. In addition to arbitral awards made in the territory of another State, the New York Convention (Art. I(1)) also applies to arbitral awards not considered as domestic awards in the State where recognition and enforcement are sought. Are there any awards rendered in your country that are not considered as domestic awards such that the New York Convention and the answers to this Questionnaire are applicable to them?

No. All arbitral awards issued within the territory of Georgia are treated as domestic awards and governed by local law.

B. National sources of law

5. What specific sources of law are applicable to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. statutes, regulations, codes, directives, other legal instruments)?

(i) Georgian law on arbitration, 19 June 2009;

(ii) Georgian law on private international law, 29 Apr. 1998;

(iii) Georgian law on enforcement proceedings, 16 Apr. 1999;

(iv) Civil Procedure Code of Georgia, 14 Nov. 1997.

C. Limitation periods (time limits)

6.

(a) Is there a limitation period (time limit) applicable to the commencement of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

There is no limitation period applicable to the commencement of enforcement proceedings.

(b) If yes, what is the applicable limitation period (time limit) and when does it start running?

N/A. Georgian legislation does not set any time limits for either commencing or completing enforcement proceedings.

D. National courts and court proceedings

7. What authority or court has jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards?

The Supreme Court of Georgia.

8. What requirements, if any, must be met for the authority or court to accept jurisdiction over recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. domicile or assets of respondent in the jurisdiction, etc.)?

No requirements are set down in Georgian legislation. Any foreign award may theoretically be recognized and enforced in Georgia.

9. Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement obtained through ex parte or inter partes proceedings?

inter partes proceedings.

After receiving the required evidence from the applicant, the Supreme Court of Georgia will invite the respondent to submit a defence to the application for enforcement and will set a time limit in which to do so. If the respondent fails to submit a defence within that time limit, the Supreme Court decides without a hearing. If the respondent does submit a defence within the time limit that has been set, a hearing will take place.

10.

(a) Is the first decision granting or denying recognition and enforcement subject to any form of appeal or recourse?

No, the decision of the Supreme Court of Georgia is final and no appeal is admissible unless new circumstances arise.

(b) How many levels of appeal or recourse are available against this decision?

None, unless new circumstances arise.

11. What is the earliest stage in legal proceedings for enforcement of foreign arbitral awards at which a party can obtain execution against assets (i.e. party actually obtains possession of assets as opposed to simply freezing assets)?

After the decision of the Supreme Court of Georgia recognizing the foreign arbitral award.

The Supreme Court issues an enforcement writ, which is sent to the appropriate National Enforcement Bureau within Georgia's Department of Justice, depending on the location of the debtor or the debtor's property. The writ is enforced pursuant to the Georgian law on enforcement proceedings and in accordance with the same rules as are applied to the enforcement of decisions rendered by Georgian courts.

E. Evidence required

12.

(a) What evidence must be supplied for recognition and enforcement of foreign awards (e.g. arbitral award, contract containing arbitration clause, affidavits, witness statements, etc.)?

The applicant must supply the court with the following documents:

(i) a certified copy of the arbitral award;

(ii) a translation of the arbitral award;

(iii) a document confirming that the arbitral award is effective; and

(iv) the arbitration agreement between the parties.

(b) Is it necessary to provide the entire document or only certain parts (e.g. entire contract or only arbitration clause)?

Georgian law is silent on this. It is advisable to submit the entire contract.

(c) Are originals or duly certified copies required?

Either a duly certified original or a duly certified copy

(d) How many originals or duly certified copies are required?

One certified original or one certified copy is sufficient.

(e) Does the authority or court keep the originals that are filed?

The court keeps a certified copy.

13.

(a) Is it necessary to provide a translation of the documents supplied?

Yes, a translation of the arbitral award must be attached.

(b) If yes, into what language?

Georgian.

(c) Is it necessary for the translations to be certified and, if yes, by whom (official or sworn translator, diplomatic or consular agent (of which country?) or some other person)?

The translation should be certified by a notary. If that certification takes place outside Georgia, the certification will need to be apostilled/legalized.

(d) Is it necessary to provide a full translation of the documents or only a translation of certain parts (e.g. entire award or only part setting forth the decisions; entire contract or only arbitration clause)?

Georgian law is silent on this. It is advisable to submit a translation of the entire document.

F. Stay of enforcement

14.

(a) Can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement pending the outcome of an application to set aside or suspend the foreign award before the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

Yes. Proceedings for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award may be stayed at the request of either the party seeking recognition and enforcement, or the party resisting recognition and enforcement, if the decision on recognition and enforcement is dependent on the final resolution of other civil or administrative proceedings. This means that proceedings on recognition and enforcement may be stayed if the lawfulness of the award is being considered by the competent authority in the State where the award was rendered. However the stay cannot be longer than 30 days, after which a final decision must be made.

(b) On what other grounds, if any, can the authority or court stay legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement (e.g. forum non conveniens)?

An exhaustive list of grounds on which proceedings can be stayed is set out in Georgia's Civil Procedure Code. In addition to what is mentioned in Q.14(a) above, other grounds relevant to recognition and enforcement proceedings include the death or winding-up of a party to the case, loss of legal capacity, or referral of the case to an ad hoc commission set up for purposes of restitution and compensation.

(c) Is the granting of a stay of legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement conditional on the provision of security?

In cases where an award has not become effective or has been set aside or suspended by the courts in the State where it was made or the courts in the State whose law was applied to resolve the dispute, the Supreme Court may stay a decision on recognition and enforcement for a maximum of 30 days before making a final decision. The Supreme Court may, but is not obliged to, order security as a condition for such a stay at the request of the party seeking recognition and enforcement.

G. Confidentiality

15.

(a) Do the documents filed in legal proceedings for recognition and enforcement form part of the public record? If yes, can any steps be taken to preserve the confidentiality of such documents?

Yes. There is no provision in Georgian law for keeping such documents confidential.

(b) If there are hearings on recognition and enforcement, are such hearings confidential? If not, can steps be taken to maintain the confidentiality of the legal proceedings?

Supreme Court decisions are usually made without a hearing, although a hearing can be held in appropriate circumstances and a request can be made for the hearing to be closed to the public.

(c) Are judgments on recognition and enforcement published? If yes, can steps be taken to remove the names of the parties or avoid publication of confidential information (such as business or State secrets)?

Yes. Georgian law does not provide any means of removing names of parties or avoiding publication of confidential information.

H. Other issues

16. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of interim or partial foreign awards?

The recognition and enforcement of interim (and therefore not final) awards is not possible. A partial award may be recognized and enforced in the same manner as an ordinary final arbitration award.

17. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of non-monetary relief in foreign arbitral awards (e.g. order requiring a party to deliver up share certificates or other property)?

Never. Georgian law allows only for the enforcement of arbitral awards requiring the payment of money.

18. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of only part of the relief granted in foreign awards?

A party can obtain recognition and enforcement of part of the relief granted in an award upon request. That part of the relief, provided the decision is final, will be recognized and enforced according to the same rules and in the same manner as a final arbitral award.

19. When, if ever, can a party obtain recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which have been set aside by the competent authority referred to in Art. V(1)(e) of the New York Convention?

If the award has been set aside by the competent authority referred to in Article V(1)(c) of the New York Convention, recognition and enforcement will be refused by the Supreme Court of Georgia. According to Georgian legislation, recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award may be refused if the arbitral award has not become legally effective and/or has been set aside by a court in the State where it was made or by a court in the State under whose law the dispute was resolved. According to the wording of the relevant legislation, the Supreme Court has discretion not to refuse recognition and enforcement in such circumstances, but this has never been the case. Georgian lawyers consider that Georgia does not belong to the list of the States in which an arbitral award that has been set aside would nevertheless be recognized and enforced.

20. Are there any other procedural or practical requirements relating to recognition and enforcement of foreign awards which are worth mentioning (e.g. unusually high court costs, filing fees, stamp duties, obligation to post security as a condition for seeking recognition and enforcement, obligation to identify the assets that will be the object of enforcement, etc.)?

According to the Civil Procedure Code of Georgia, the Supreme Court is required to rule on the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards within 10 days of receiving the application for it to do so. In practice, it is difficult to estimate the length of time it will take for the Supreme Court of Georgia to make a decision on whether to grant enforcement of a foreign arbitral award. Past experience suggests that this will be at least 4-6 months.

In the vast majority of cases foreign arbitral awards are recognized in Georgia. However, there have been some problems related to the enforcement of awards in cases involving the State as respondent (e.g. a number of ICSID and LCIA proceedings).

Country Rapporteur:

Irakli Mgalobishvili