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Article: Supreme Courts and Arbitration: China

Herbert Smith Freehills China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre Member Associate Professor Kun Fan’s research paper has been published in a special edition of b-Arbitra| Belgian Review of Arbitration in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation (“CEPANI”).

This Liber Amicorum was presented on 14 November at the Academic Session of the CEPANI’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. It has been dedicated to arbitration and alternative dispute resolution in all their aspects.

In the article “Supreme Courts and Arbitration: China”, Associate Professor Fan discussed the structure of China’s judicial system and the way that its constituent courts interact in the field of arbitration. In particular, she examined the multiple roles played by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC). She argued that the SPC has played an important role in supporting the development of arbitration in China.

“Through implementation of judicial interpretations and publication of guiding cases, the SPC provides important guidance for lower courts on the application of the Arbitration Law, and also fills interpretative gaps not addressed by the Arbitration Law,” Associate Professor Fan suggested.

Associate Professor Fan also examined the “Report and Approval” system, by which lower court decisions finding an arbitration agreement invalid or setting aside or refusing to recognize or enforce an award, are subject to review by the SPC. She found “this centralised Report and Approval system reduces the risk of local protectionism and lower court corruption and bolsters the confidence of foreign investors in arbitration in China.” It has been key to the development of international arbitration in China. 

She also mentioned in this article that the SPC’s creation of the China International Commercial Court as a “one-stop” centre for international dispute resolution would be an important part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The full paper is now available for download from SSRN.

The CEPANI was established in 1969 and it is the main arbitration centre in Belgium. The b-Arbitra| Belgian Review of Arbitration is an initiative of CEPANI that promotes dialogue on novel issues in the field of arbitration.