China International Commercial Court: Serve the Construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and Create a Legal Business Environment
China International Commercial Court: Serve the Construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and Create a Legal Business Environment
2021/3/24 11:12:10  点击率[1198]  评论[0]
【法宝引证码】
    【学科类别】国际商法
    【出处】Institute of Maritime Law
    【写作时间】2019年
    【中文关键字】
    【英文关键字】the Belt and Road Initiative
    【全文】

    (China Daily, 31st January, Cao Yin) Within the year when the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform passed the Opinion Concerning the Establishment of the Belt and Road International Commercial Dispute Resolution Mechanism and Institutions (hereinafter referred to as “the Opinion”), the two newly “unveiled” international commercial courts by the Supreme People's Court have begun to accept cases recently. The Supreme People's Court aims to further strengthen the international cooperation on rule of law and provide fair and efficient judicial services and safeguards to the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative by putting the international commercial courts into operation.
     
    Luo Dongchuan, Vice President of the Supreme People's Court, said in a recent exclusive interview with China Daily that since last year December, the two international commercial courts have accepted nine cases involving parties from Japan, Italy, Thailand and other countries. The First International Commercial Court, established in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, has accepted five cases, including application for the confirmation of the validity of an arbitration agreement, unjust enrichment and product liability. The Second International Commercial Court ,established in Xi'an, Shanxi Province, has accepted four cases, including the distribution of company's earnings, the confirmation of shareholders' qualifications, and liability for damages to company's interests.
     
    “At present, these cases have entered contentious procedure, and the courts have served relevant legal documents to the parties.”, said Luo. “We will resolve these cases in a fair and efficient manner in accordance with the law, and use fair and efficient dispute resolution processes and results to demonstrate the image of Chinese courts on the international stage, enhance the judicial credibility and effectively provide services and safeguards for the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative”.
     
    In January 2018, the second meeting of Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform deliberated and passed the Opinion. The Opinion requires that to acing Reform deliberated and adopted the Opinion. The Opinion requires promoting international collaboration under the Belt and Road, properly resolving commercial disputes arising during the course of the Belt and Road Initiative, equally protecting legal rights and interests of Chinese and foreign parties, creating a fair and just business environment in order to provide more powerful judicial services and protections for the purpose of implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and the policy of promoting advanced and convenient trades and investments and the establishment of an open global economy.
     
    In order to ensure the rule-based establishment of China International Commercial Court, the Supreme People's Court promulgated a judicial interpretation named Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues Regarding the Establishment of the International Commercial Court in June, to provide institutional norms for the smooth operation of the International Commercial Court. On June 29th, the First International Commercial Court and the Second International Commercial Court were unveiled in Shenzhen and Xi'an respectively, and began to officially operate. In August, the Supreme People's Court established the International Commercial Expert Committee and appointed 32 expert members from 15 countries and regions to work together and contribute wisdom to the establishment and improvement of the international commercial dispute resolution mechanism. In November, the Supreme People's Court promulgated the Procedural Rules for the China International Commercial Court of the Supreme People's Court (For Trial Implementation), the Working Rules of the International Commercial Expert Committee of the Supreme People's Court (For trial implementation) and the Notice of the Supreme People's Court on Inclusion of the First Group of International Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Institutions in the “One-stop” Diversified International Commercial Dispute Resolution Mechanism in order to lay a solid foundation to build the “one-stop” diversified resolution mechanism for international commercial disputes which integrates litigation, arbitration and mediation.
     
    “The work of the past year shows that from the establishment of the China International Commercial Court to its actual operation, we have taken every step rapidly yet steadily. The China International Commercial Court is not something fictitious. We shall provide real and dependable legal services for the commercial disputes arising from the construction of Belt and Road Initiative”, so did Luo told the journalist.
     
    Inevitable Result from the Reform and Opening-up
     
    In today's world, in the relentless quest for openness and convergence, the economic and social development of every country is increasingly interrelated and interacted with each other. Promoting the connectivity and speeding up the integrated development has become an inevitable choice to promote common prosperity and development. The construction of the Belt and Road is initiated and promoted by General Secretary Xi Jinping himself. The Belt and Road is not only a road to win-win cooperation promoting the spirit of the ancient Silk Road, but also a road of innovative practice in promoting the construction of a community of a shared future for mankind. Over the past 5 years, the Belt and Road Initiative has received an increasing number of countries' enthusiastic response. Jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative is becoming a Chinese approach for China to participate in global opening-up and cooperation, improve the global economic governance system, promote global common development and prosperity, and promote the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind. With the deepening of connectivity of infrastructure and facilities, unimpeded trades and financial integration of the Belt and Road, the number of cross-border commercial disputes involving international trade, international project contracting and international logistics accepted by the people's court has been increasing. It is of great significance to establish a fair, just and reasonable international commercial dispute resolution mechanism and institution to provide more efficient, convenient, speedy and low-cost approaches for the resolution of international commercial disputes.
     
    At the same time, the people's courts have constantly accumulated experience in the foreign-related civil and commercial trials. As early as at the beginning of this century, the Supreme People's Court established the Fourth Civil Division, which is specially responsible for hearing foreign-related commercial and maritime cases. “In other words, about 20 years ago, we realized the importance and urgency of providing fair and efficient legal services and safeguards for our Opening-up policy.” Luo said.
     
    According to the statistics, from 2013 to 2017, the people's courts at various levels have concluded more than 200,000 foreign-related civil and commercial cases, more than double the number in the past five years. The people's courts equally protect the legal rights and interests of Chinese and foreign parties, and more and more foreign parties would agree to choose Chinese courts to settle disputes.
     
    “It is under the background of China's continuing Reform and Opening up and building an open global economy that the China International Commercial Court of the Supreme People's Court came into being.” Said Luo, “The establishment of the international commercial court, on the one hand, provides fair and efficient judicial services and safeguards to the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative; on the other hand, it also contributes our judicial experience accumulated in foreign-related commercial trials to the world, so as to achieve wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and to promote the construction of the community of a shared future for mankind.”
     
    “One-stop” diversified dispute resolution mechanism
     
    According to the Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues Regarding the Establishment of the International Commercial Court, the International Commercial Court is a permanent adjudication organ of the Supreme People's Court, which mainly accepts five types of international commercial cases. For example, the first instance international commercial cases in which the parties have chosen the jurisdiction of the Supreme People's Court according to Article 34 of the Civil Procedure Law, with an amount in dispute of at least 300,000,000 Chinese yuan, the first instance international commercial cases that have a nationwide significant impact, or the first instance international commercial cases which are subject to the jurisdiction of the higher people's courts who nonetheless consider that the cases should be tried by the Supreme People's Court for which permission has been obtained.
     
    “In short, the China International Commercial Court is primarily responsible for hearing international commercial cases involving unification of the adjudication standards, great social impact and of important significance in understanding or interpretation of international treaties and rules.” said Luo.
     
    One of the example is the case of Red Bull Vitamin Drink Co., Ltd., which has been accepted by the Second International Commercial Court. There are a total of four cases involves different types of commercial disputes, such as the distribution of company's earnings, the confirmation of shareholders' qualifications, and the liability for damages to company's interests. “Such series of cases with significant influence are suitable to be tried by the China International Commercial Court, which is conducive to the unification of the adjudication standards.” Said Luo.
     
    The parties may choose to bring a claim before the China International Commercial Court, or arbitrate in the international commercial arbitration institution on the basis of equality and mutual consultation, or to mediate. “In fact, it is to integrate the diversified dispute resolution mechanism collaborating litigation, mediation, and arbitration into one single platform that provides 'one-stop' legal services. In this mechanism, the award on international commercial disputes shall be final and binding, which gives great convenience to the parties concerned and accords with the efficiency and convenience of international commercial activities. Certainly, this is also the innovation of the 'one-stop' diversified international commercial dispute resolution mechanism.” Said Luo. He said that if the parties choose to mediate, the member of the International Commercial Expert Committee (expert member) or the first group of two international commercial mediation institutions included into the “one-stop” diversified international commercial dispute resolution mechanism will be entrusted to conduct mediation for the parties. The China International Commercial Court may issue a conciliation statement in accordance with the law after the parties have reached a mediation agreement following mediation conducted by the expert member or the international commercial mediation institution. If the parties request a judgment, the International Commercial Court may make a judgment based on the mediation agreement and serve it to the parties. Where the parties agree to submit their dispute to arbitration, the first group of five international commercial arbitration institutions included into the “one-stop” diversified international commercial dispute resolution mechanism will also provide arbitration services. The parties may apply to the China International Commercial Court for preservation of evidence, assets or act before application for arbitration or after the commencement of the arbitral proceedings. After the arbitral award is rendered, an application may be made to the China International Commercial Court for setting aside or enforcing the arbitral award.
     
    At present, there are 15 judges in the China International Commercial Court, who have more than 10-year experience of civil and commercial trials, and more than 90% of them have Doctors of law degrees. They are familiar with international treaties, international customs and international trade and investment practices, and are proficient in using Chinese and English as working languages. “We have the confidence to provide fair and efficient judicial services, and we believe that the parties can be convinced by the fair and efficient work of our judges.” Said Luo, “At the same time, the first batch of 32 expert members, as the 'exobrain' of the China International Commercial Court, will provide advisory opinions on specialized legal issues such as international treaties, international commercial rules, the ascertainment and application of extraterritorial laws, and provide high-quality legal services for resolving disputes between the parties.”
     
    Although the award of the China International Commercial Court is “final and binding”, Luo said that the parties are provided with further channels of judicial relief. The parties may, in accordance with the Civil Procedure Law, apply to the Supreme People's Court for a retrial of a legally effective judgment, ruling or mediation statement made by the China International Commercial Court. The Supreme People's Court shall form a new collegial panel for the review of the application for a retrial and for conducting the retrial.
     
    “Speak with Facts”
     
    This year the China International Commercial Court will formally operate. “We will accelerate the trials of complex and influential international commercial cases, and give full play to the benchmarking and demonstration role of model cases of the China International Commercial Court.” Said Luo, “Facts will tell whether international commercial disputes has be settled fairly and efficiently or not. Only by properly handling each case in accordance with the law can we constantly enhance the parties' trust in us handling international commercial disputes and further enhance the judicial credibility of the people's courts in the world stage.”
     
    To this end, the Supreme People's Court will further enhance the judicial credibility of the people's court through strict selection of judges, deepening the openness and transparency of judicial procedure, enhancing the education and training of judges, and effectively improving the quality and efficiency of judicial procedure. “We plan to hold a seminar of the International Commercial Expert Committee in the first half of this year,to continue to enrich and improve the functions of the Expert Committee.” Said Luo.
     
    In the tide of economic globalization, in response to the needs of international commercial dispute resolution, many countries have established international commercial courts. For example, the United Arab Emirates established Dubai International Financial Centre Courts in 2004; Singapore established the Singapore International Commercial Court in 2015; Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and other countries have also adopted legislation to establish international commercial courts. The China International Commercial Court of the Supreme People's Court will further carry out international exchanges and cooperation, and learn from the countries and regions with similar commercial dispute resolution mechanisms in an open manner. “It is believed that through the practical work of the courts, more foreign parties will be attracted to choose Chinese courts to settle disputes.” Luo added.

    【作者简介】
    Cao Yin

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