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Shenzhen Qianhai Taking the Lead in Building "One Belt and One Road" International Commercial Dispute Resolution Platform

02 08, 2018      Source: 21st Century Business Herald

Recently, the national first “One Belt and One Road” international commercial litigation and mediation center (hereinafter referred to as the “Center”) and the “One Belt and One Road” legal public service platform are unveiled in Qianhai, and will provide convenient, efficient and authoritative dispute resolution services for commercial entities inside and outside the area.

The "One Belt and One Road" international commercial litigation and mediation center was cooperatively established by several domestic and foreign mediation agencies, including Qianhai Court and Shenzhen International Court of Arbitration, Qianhai "One Belt and One Road" Legal Services Federation. In an exclusive interview, Wenchang Zhi, president of the Qianhai Court, has stated that at present, the Center has received 274 cases in less than a month and 32 cases have been successfully mediated. Among these cases, 3 cases are handled with the participation of Hong Kong mediators in 3 mediation cases and 129 cases are handled with lawyers’ participation. "I believe that in the future, with the joint efforts of the cooperation organizations, the litigation and mediation center will better serve to promote the innovative development of the free trade zone and the cooperation zone, and the multi-level “One Belt and One Road” commercial dispute settlement center at regional level will continuously be improved, hence promoting the formation of an international, market-based and legalized business environment, and continuously increasing the credibility of China’s judicial authority and the international competitiveness of the free trade zone”, said Wen Changzhi.

At the same time, Shenzhen Qianhai “One Belt and One Road” Legal Service Federation has officially been established in recent days. As the first international legal platform with Chinese lawyers as main members, the Federation would integrate global Chinese lawyer resources on the basis of Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation, and collaborate with legal service agencies such as arbitral and notary authority, in coordination with the national “One Belt and One Road Initiative”, in order to provide legal support for enterprises and citizens in “going global”, and also provide a platform for overseas Chinese lawyers to participate in the “One Belt and One Road Initiative”.

Cooperation between Domestic and Foreign Institutions Following International Practices

According to lawyer Wang Shouqun, secretary general of the “One Belt and One Road” Legal Service Federation of Shenzhen Qianhai, two of the earliest law firms domestic under joint-management of Hong Kong and Mainland partnerships were established in Qianhai in December 2014. With the settling of more and more foreign companies, currently, Qianhai has a good international legal environment, a rich legal talents reserve, and a large number of well-established legal institutions. All these have laid a solid foundation for the “One Belt and One Road” international commercial litigation and mediation center and the establishment of “One Belt and One Road” legal service federation.

According to the information from the Qianhai Court, since the court started to accept and hear cases on February 2, 2015, the court has handled a total of 3,805 foreign-related cases involving Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as of December 31, 2017. Among these cases, parties to the 35 cases chose to apply Hong Kong law in their contracts. On May 28, 2016, the litigation and mediation center of Qianhai Court established. Up to now, the center has accepted and mediated 997 commercial cases, among which 420 cases have been successfully conciliated, with a mediation success rate of 42%, giving full play to the function of the diversified platforms for commercial dispute settlement.

Creating "Taobao" in Legal Community, Serving "One Belt and One Road" Enterprises

"At present, if international commercial disputes are settled through litigation, although the procedures seem more stringent and related rights guarantees for the parties are more perfect, the disadvantages of long time and high costs cannot be neglected. However, the adoption of mediation will not only satisfy most of the requirements of efficient and convenient disputes handling by most commercial entities, allow all parties to resolve the disputes in a more harmonious manner, but the immediate and long-term interests of all parties will be taken into account, which will be more favorable for companies to conduct subsequent trade and investment and maintain long-term cooperative relations”, said Wen Changzhi. In order to maximize the advantages of “efficient and convenient” mediation, Qianhai Court and relevant cooperation agencies have established the “One Belt and One Road” legal public service platform. This platform serves as an online legal information service platform open to the public at home and abroad and can freely provide literature searching services concerning laws and regulations, cases, etc. in countries and regions along the “One Belt and One Road” for the public. There are also professional legal persons providing online legal affairs consulting services, as well as international commercial litigation and mediation consulting services. Relying on information-based convenience, the platform aims to help the public choose the appropriate dispute resolution methods and will continuously meet the diverse needs for dispute resolution by related parties. “With such a platform, parties in different countries can also conduct online dispute resolution at anytime and anywhere, which will save them a lot of money and time costs.”