Supreme Court’s Contradictory Decisions Undermine Legal System’s Credibility


In a recent case involving the ownership of a prestigious home in the Badamdar region of Baku, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan has issued contradictory rulings that have raised significant concerns about the consistency and reliability of the legal system. This article explores the case’s details, the conflicting decisions, and the broader implications for legal predictability and public trust.

Case Background

During the Soviet era, the government granted a home to the grandfather of the Defendant as a recognition for his participation in the Second World War. After the grandfather’s death, the Ministry of Defense demanded the Defendant vacate the property, offering only AZN 5000 as compensation. The Defendant sought assistance from our client (hereinafter, the Claimant) to secure ownership of the home.

The agreement between the Claimant and Defendant included the following terms:

  1. Both parties would reside in the same area where the home is located.
  2. They would swap homes – the Claimant would move into the Badamdar home, and the Defendant would take the Claimant’s home in Ahmedly district.
  3. Alternatively, the Defendant would pay the Claimant AZN 120,000.

To ensure compliance, the Claimant requested the Defendant sign a receipt acknowledging the receipt of AZN 120,000 as a loan.

Legal Proceedings

  1. First Instance (Sabail District Court): The Claimant’s case was dismissed due to the absence of a written agreement.
  2. Baku Appellate Court: This court upheld the decision of the first instance.
  3. Supreme Court (First Cassation): The Supreme Court overturned the appellate court’s decision, recognizing a contractual relationship despite the lack of a written agreement and instructed the appellate court to determine the service fee.
  4. Second Session in Baku Appellate Court: The appellate court upheld the original decision, arguing the service fee was not clearly defined.
  5. Supreme Court (Second Cassation): The Supreme Court recognized three possible service fees and reverted the case to the appellate court for a new decision.
  6. Third Session in Baku Appellate Court: The appellate court issued a new decision according to the Supreme Court’s instructions. The Defendant’s lawyer appealed this decision.
  7. Supreme Court (Third Cassation): The Supreme Court dismissed the appellate court’s decision, arguing that the service fee of AZN 120,000 was not adequate.
  8. Current Status: The case is ongoing in the Baku Appellate Court, facing the challenge of reconciling the Supreme Court’s contradictory instructions.


The Supreme Court’s inconsistent rulings have not only prolonged the litigation process but also severely damaged the predictability of legal outcomes. Initially, the Supreme Court recognized a contractual relationship and identified specific service fees. However, it later invalidated its own directives by questioning the adequacy of the service fee. This inconsistency creates a precarious situation for legal practitioners, who cannot predict court decisions, and undermines public confidence in the judicial system.


  1. Legal Uncertainty: The conflicting decisions make it challenging for lawyers to provide reliable advice to clients, impacting their ability to plan and negotiate effectively.
  2. Erosion of Trust: Public trust in the judiciary is compromised when the highest court issues contradictory rulings. This erosion of confidence can have long-term detrimental effects on the rule of law and societal stability.
  3. Prolonged Litigation: The back-and-forth between courts extends the duration of legal disputes, increasing costs and emotional strain for the parties involved.


The recent contradictory decisions by the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan in this case highlight a troubling inconsistency within the legal system. It is imperative for the judiciary to provide clear and consistent rulings to uphold the rule of law, ensure fair legal proceedings, and maintain public trust in the legal system.

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