Development and Innovation of International Commercial Litigation Rules
I. The basic principles and great significance of international commercial litigation rules under the BRI
As an important tool for international commercial dispute resolution, the flexible, convenient and efficient litigation rules ensure that both parties in litigation have equal rights and obligations, just like rules for sports competition. Regardless of different legal systems and cultures, China and Singapore both adhere to the same basic principles of fairness and efficiency in international commercial litigation. Since the BRI was put forward, the international commercial transactions have been more frequent and disputes increased accordingly. As a result, countries have established their international commercial dispute resolution institutions and made reforms and innovations to the litigation rules for more fairness and efficiency.
There are many countries along the Belt and Road, covering various jurisdictions like the civil law system, the common law system and the Islamic law system. They also differ greatly in language, culture and legal tradition, which add to the complexity and specificity of the commercial disputes among the Belt and Road countries, presenting new demands on judicial procedures and rules of the countries. Finding a balance between justice and efficiency, autonomy of will and judicial credibility with international and convenient litigation rules is a common concern of the commercial courts of all countries. Extensive research and exploration are of great practical significance to promoting trade freedom and international cooperation.
II. The practice and experience of the innovation and development of people’s courts in China practicing the international commercial litigation rules
The rule of law provides the best business environment. Since the BRI was put forward, people’s courts in China have been committed to providing strong judicial support for the Belt and Road construction. We learn from the advantages of civil law and common law litigation rules, and leverage the first-mover advantage of the Internet court and informatization construction, in order to become a prioritized option for international commercial dispute resolution.
1. Adhere to the principle of equity and justice, equally protect the legitimate interests of Chinese and foreign parties, and create a business environment that is ruled by law, international and convenient. First, as the organizational guarantee, the SPC set up the First and the Second International Commercial Courts in Shenzhen and Xi’an respectively.
2. Actively practice multilateralism and establish a “one-stop” dispute resolution platform in order to improve the diversified dispute resolution mechanism. At the SPC level, the China International Commercial Court (CICC) initiated the International Commercial Expert Committee system and hired experts from 14 countries and China’s Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions to provide international and professional mediation, foreign law ascertainment and consulting services. The CICC also built a “one-stop” platform as a diversified resolution for international commercial disputes, and established a connection mechanism between CICC and international commercial arbitration & mediation institutions.
3. Innovate on the procedure rules of international commercial dispute resolution, and create an efficient, low-cost, all-round litigation rules system. First, for procedure distribution, the Supreme People’s Court issued the “Several Opinions on Further Promoting the Efficient Distribution of Complex and Simple Cases and Optimizing the Allocation of Judicial Resources” to further improve the procedure rules such as the distribution of disputes before court session, speedy trial of simple cases, connection of litigation and mediation, and model judgment, and to improve the quality and efficiency of dispute resolution.
Author of article: CHEN Fengchao, Justice, President of the High People’s Court of Hainan Province