The “heavenly” and “earthly” life of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union: A review of the Judgment of the Court in the Case involving Belarus’ adherence to the Treaty on the EEU

Available in Russian

Author: Vladislav Tolstykh

DOI: 10.21128/2226-2059-2017-4-18-25

Keywords: customs control; customs law; dissenting opinions of judges; Eurasian law; International Court; international law


This article is an overview of the Judgment of the Eurasian Economic Union Court from February 21, 2017, which it pronounced in the case of Russia against Belarus concerning Belarus’ compliance with the Treaty on the EEU and some other acts of the Union. In this decision, the Court used its powers to examine an interstate dispute for the first time. The author describes the circumstances of the case, the position of the Court, and the positions of the judges who expressed dissenting opinions. The author’s comments touch upon the political and legal aspects of the dispute, the stylistics of the Decision, and the use of the institution of special opinions. The author makes a number of critical remarks. For example, in his opinion, the Court gives unreasonably high attention to obvious issues and, on the contrary, does not clarify other important issues. Furthermore, it does not try to formulate a general concept of regulation in the relevant area, it does not apply some concepts and approaches, the applicability of which looks obvious, and it does not use potentially useful tools of interpretation. In general, the decision produces an ambiguous impression. On the one hand, it corresponds to the basic standards of international judicial decisions and contains a definite answer to the question posed. On the other hand, it does not contain detailed arguments and clear conclusions. Thus, it successfully solves the particular problem of resolving a specific dispute, but it does not solve the task of strengthening the law and order of the Eurasian Economic Union.

About the authorL Vladislav Tolstykh – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Head of International Law Department, Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia.

Citation: Tolstykh V. (2017) “Nebesnaya” i “zemnaya” zhizn’ Suda Evraziyskogo ekonomicheskogo soyuza: Obzor Resheniya ot 21 fevralya 2017 goda po delu o soblyudenii Belorussiey Dogovora o EAES [The “heavenly” and “earthly” life of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union: A review of the Judgment of the Court in the case involving Belarus’ adherence to the Treaty on the EEU]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, no.4, pp.18–25. (In Russian).


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