北京仲裁委员会

中国国际仲裁格局的新变化/Shifting landscape of international arbitration in China

发布时间: 2020-3-13   供稿人:陈福勇

在中国,以城市命名的仲裁机构经常被外行的人误以为仅处理当地的国内案件。其实不然。放在全球背景下,国际仲裁行业中有影响力的仲裁机构往往以其所在城市命名,以中立和专业的案件管理和处理取信于全球仲裁用户。本文试从中国仲裁机构中具有代表性的仲裁机构——北仲切入,分析其近五年新受理的国际案件,展示中国国际仲裁格局对潜在用户富有价值的微观发展与变化。

案件构成

全球经贸投资不断发展的背景下,中国国际仲裁市场的潜力正在显现。

从案件数量和标的看,北仲国际案件自2015年的52件逐年增长至2019年的163件,年均增长率为35.95%;国际案件年均个案标的额自2015年的2100余万元人民币增长至2019年的4200余万元人民币,年均增长率为54.38%。仅就2019年考察,最大标的额案件为14.62亿元人民币,标的额超过1亿元人民币的国际案件数量为12件。

以国籍和地区区分,涉及的当事人遍布全球,除中国港澳台地区外,当事人来自美洲地区(含北美、中美、南美)为51人/次、来自亚洲地区47人/次、来自欧洲地区39人/次、来自非洲地区9人/次、来自大洋洲地区6人/次。其中43%的非中国籍当事人作为申请人在北仲提起仲裁案件、近57%的非中国籍当事人作为被申请人参加北仲管理的仲裁案件。如果细分到具体国家,当事人来自美国35人/次,来自英国及英属群岛为26人/次,来自加拿大为12人/次,分列非中国籍用户前三名。

以案件类型分析,泛金融类案件174件(股权投资类131件、资金借贷及担保类43件)、国际贸易类案件104件(货物贸易类68件、服务贸易类36件)、国际工程及地产类案件64件(建设工程类40件、房地产类24件)、知识产权及技术类31件以及其他各种类型案件76件。尤其值得注意的是,股权投资类案件、知识产权及技术类案件在近五年的增速较快。

案件管理

得益于在机构仲裁规则层面对国际仲裁实践的借鉴和创新,参与中国国际仲裁的仲裁员及当事人在各类仲裁策略的选择和适用上日臻成熟。

首先,在仲裁语言方面,北仲仲裁规则自2015年取消缺省仲裁语言为中文的规定后,出现了更多仲裁庭及当事人基于案件情况协商选择英文作为仲裁语言的案件。并且,随着越来越多有能力处理国际案件的仲裁员(含非中国籍)参与到北仲管理的仲裁案件中,以英文作为仲裁语言的案件的处理越来越变得习以为常。

其次,在仲裁适用法律及特殊仲裁规则适用方面,近五年,北仲管理的案件不仅包括适用香港法、美国纽约州法、韩国法、乌兹别克斯坦法、吉尔吉斯斯坦法、联合国国际货物贸易销售合同公约等情形,也包括适用ICC仲裁规则、联合国贸法会仲裁规则等情形。在多个案件中,甚至可以看到中外当事人以补充协议的方式改变原本约定在其他知名国际仲裁中心进行仲裁的仲裁协议,转而约定将仲裁案件提交北仲管理的情形。

最后,自2015年北仲仲裁规则引进一系列国际前沿的实践以来,诸如追加当事人、合并仲裁等一系列规定已在国际案件中得到广泛适用。尤其值得一提的是,自2017年北仲处理了中国内地第一件适用紧急仲裁员程序并作出临时措施的仲裁案件后,北仲在更多的案件中鼓励、配合仲裁庭及当事人处理了紧急仲裁员和在“一带一路”沿线国家和地区执行的临时措施相关事项。

效率与质量

中国机构仲裁的优势让更多的仲裁庭和当事人能够根据个案情况探索更为高效的争议解决安排。

就案件审理措施而言,近五年中已有大量国际仲裁案件的仲裁庭视个案情况采取程序令、审理范围书的方式提高当事人参与和准备仲裁的效率;2019年更有一件国际仲裁案件适用雷德芬表格进行了完整的文件披露程序;在特定情况下,北仲更鼓励和支持仲裁庭、当事人、证人协商采取了网络开庭和电子送达的方式推进仲裁程序。

从案件管理数据上看,以上种种案件审理措施的创新和应用让北仲管理国际案件时始终保持较高的效率。仅以2019年为例,北仲仲裁规则规定的国际商事普通程序的案件审理期限为6个月,国际商事简易程序的案件审理期限为90日,而北仲当年已结国际案件的实际平均结案时间分别为157日和63日(备注:审理期限为自组庭到结案的期限),这对效率敏感的当事人具有强大的吸引力。

从裁决看,北仲发出的国际仲裁裁决已经在美国等许多国家和地区得到承认和执行。到目前为止,没有任何被撤销或不予执行的记录。

平台建设

2019年,北仲再度修订其商事仲裁规则,并推出了一套最大限度减轻现有用户对投资仲裁感到忧虑的投资仲裁规则,着力在商事仲裁收费和投资仲裁体制机制改革方面大胆突破。

经过努力,过去五年中,北仲仲裁员名册中实际办理国际仲裁案件的仲裁员比例大幅提升,并有526人次非中国籍的仲裁员参与案件办理。

所有过往,皆为序章。中国营商环境的不断改善以及对外开放力度的不断增大是中国国际仲裁当下快速发展的基础。国际政治经贸环境正在发生的深刻变革则让中国在国际仲裁领域的未来发展更加可期。

作者:北京仲裁委员会/北京国际仲裁中心(北仲)副秘书长陈福勇。北仲高级主管许捷对文章亦有贡献。


Shifting landscape of international arbitration in China 


In China, amateurs may regard a city- named arbitration institution as one that only handles local arbitration cases. This is not the case. Among the main international arbitration institutions, city-named is more often the case worldwide, since the impartiality and professional capability, rather than nationality, plays the uppermost role in gaining trust from global arbitration users.


This article takes Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Centre (BAC/BIAC) as the leading Chinese arbitration institution, as an example, and tries to debrief the developments of its international cases in the past five years and to demonstrate the landscape changes of international arbitration practice in China, which would be valuable for arbitration users’ decision-making process.


CASELOAD OVERVIEW


With the development and shift of global trades and investment, the market share of international arbitration in China is expanding. In terms of the caseload, BAC/ BIAC’s international cases have increased from 52 in 2015 to 163 in 2019, with an average annual growth rate of 35.95%.


In terms of the average value of a single dispute, BAC/BIAC’s international cases have also increased from more than RMB21 million (US$3 million) in 2015 to more than RMB42 million last year, with an average annual growth rate of 54.38%. In 2019, the largest international case reached RMB1.46 billion in value, and 12 international cases were valued at more than RMB100 million, respectively.


In the past five years, BAC/BIAC’s international cases have involved parties from all over the world. Excepting Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, the number of parties from: the Americas (including North America, Central and South America) was 51; Asia was 47; Europe was 39; Africa was nine; Oceania was 6.43%.


Of the non-Chinese parties that have applied for arbitration at BAC/BIAC, nearly 57% have participated in the arbitration as respondents. Furthermore, among the non-Chinese parties, 35 were from the US, 26 were from the UK and British Isles, and 12 were from Canada, as the top three of BAC/BIAC’s non-Chinese users.


In terms of the types of cases in the past five years, BAC/BIAC has accepted: 174 pan-financial cases (131 equity investment and 43 lending and guarantee); 104 international trade cases (68 sales and 36 services); 64 international engineering and real estate (40 construction and 24 real estate); 31 intellectual property and technology cases; and 76 cases of other types. The growth rate of equity investment, intellectual property and technology cases were comparatively fast over the period.


HANDLING OF CASES


By introducing and innovating international practice in institutional arbitration rules, the arbitrators and parties who take part in Chinese international arbitration practice are well equipped with more procedural tools and capacities.


First, in terms of the arbitration language, since the 2015 amendment repeals of the default language provision, which introduces Chinese as the arbitration language if no agreement on arbitration language has been specified, more arbitration tribunals and parties concerned have opted for English as the arbitration language.


In addition, as more and more arbitrators (including those non-Chinese ones) who are capable of handling international cases preside over BAC/BIAC’s international arbitration cases, those English cases will be handled more smoothly.


Second, in terms of the applicable laws and arbitration rules, in the past five years a diversified scenario has been witnessed, where the applicable laws involve the laws of: Hong Kong; the US state of New York; Korea; Uzbekistan; Kyrgyzstan; and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, while the applicable arbitration rules involve the ICC Arbitration Rules and the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.


In a number of cases, parties from within and outside China even reached amendments on their arbitration agreements that stipulated another well- known international arbitration institution, and replaced BAC/BIAC as the eligible arbitration institution for their dispute resolution.


Finally, since the BAC/BIAC’s 2015 Arbitration Rules introduced a series of cutting-edge international practices, the joinder and the consolidation of arbitration has been a frequent practice in BAC/ BIAC’s international cases.


It is also worth noting that after the first emergency arbitrator case in main- land China was administered by BAC/ BIAC, and the interim measures of that case were enforced in 2017, BAC/BIAC has begun to encourage and support more tribunals and parties to apply for emergency arbitrator proceedings, and to seek enforcement of interim measures in countries and regions along the Belt and Road.


EFFICIENCY AND QUALITY


The traditional wisdom in Chinese institutional practice allows for a quicker study curve for more tribunals and parties to become competent conducting arbitration in different but efficient ways.


In terms of case management approaches, in the past five years, BAC/ BIAC’s international cases have widely adopted the procedural orders and terms of reference, which are believed to be a more effective way of preparing arbitration. In 2019, one of BAC/BIAC’s inter- national cases used the Redfern Schedules in discovery. On other occasions tribunals, parties and witnesses were allowed to consent on an online hearing or electronic service, and BAC/BIAC encouraged and supported all choices.


In terms of the duration of case management, all above-mentioned innovations and measures contributed to the high efficiency of BAC/BIAC’s international cases. Taking 2019’s statistics as an example, the time limit for BAC/BIAC’s arbitrations that applied to ordinary international commercial procedures was six months, and the time limit for BAC/BIAC’s arbitrations that applied to expedited international commercial procedures was 90 days, while the actual average durations for BAC/BIAC’s 2019 international cases was 157 days for the former type of procedures, and 63 days for the latter. (Note: the time limit counts from the composition of tribunal to the rendering of award.) These statistics can be very persuasive to users who are sensitive to efficiency.


Yet, no awards rendered in BAC/ BIAC’s international cases have been set aside or non-enforced, and the enforcement and recognition of BAC/BIAC’s awards were witnessed in the US and many other countries and regions.


THE PLATFORM


In 2019, the BAC/BIAC moved forward with new amendment to its commercial arbitration rules, and a set of investment arbitration rules. The former made a bold breakthrough in the fee structures of Chinese commercial arbitration. The latter was an innovative proposal to alleviate existing concerns about investment arbitration.


With these efforts, the proportions of panel listing arbitrators who actually sit in BAC/BIAC’s international cases have increased significantly in the past five years. Among them, 526 non-Chinese arbitrators have been appointed or nominated in BAC/BIAC cases.


As Shakespeare wrote: “What’s past is prologue”. The continual improvement of China’s business environment and the further “opening up” empower arbitration practice in China to grow rapidly. In the meantime, the international arbitration community in China may embrace a better future while profound changes take place in global politics and economies.


Chen Fuyong is deputy secretary general of Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Centre (BAC/BIAC). BAC/BIAC’s senior manager, Terence Xu, also contributed to the article
因本合同引起的或与本合同有关的任何争议,均提请北京仲裁委员会/北京国际仲裁中心按照其仲裁规则进行仲裁。仲裁裁决是终局的,对双方均有约束力。
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