On 23 Dec. 2020, China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) published the Annual Report on Judicial Review of Commercial Arbitration (2019) (the Report). On September 1, 2021, the People's Court Press under the Supreme People's Court published the Report as a book.
The first of its kind, this Report documents Chinese courts’ pro-arbitration stance and decisions.
The SPC prepares this Report in both Chinese and English versions, from which we may infer that it hopes the world to know more about arbitration in China, especially the pro-arbitration trend in judicial practice.
Taking into account the wider context of the opening-up trend in the Chinese arbitration market, this report shows the Chinese courts’ role and efforts in helping China to build an internationally competitive center for arbitration.
The Report consists of the following three parts:
Part One introduces the laws, regulations, and policies related to arbitration in China.
Part Two presents the statistics concerned with the arbitration in China. We will highlight some of the valuable statistics in the following paragraphs.
Part Three enumerates typical cases of judicial review of arbitration, including the judicial review of domestic arbitration (Section I - Section V), judicial review of foreign-related arbitration agreements (Items 1-4 of Section VI), recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards (Item 5 of Section VI), and inter-regional mutual legal assistance in arbitration with Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Taiwan region (Section VII).
China Annual Report 2019 on Judicial Review of Commercial Arbitration Highlights:
The key highlights in the statistics relating to arbitration in China mentioned in the Report include:
I. Number of Cases Accepted by Arbitration Institutions Nationwide
In 2013, arbitration institutions in China received 104,257 cases, with a total sum in dispute of 164.6 billion yuan.
In 2018, arbitration institutions in China received 544,536 cases, with a total sum in dispute of 695 billion yuan.
In 2019, arbitration institutions in China received 486,955 cases, with a total sum in dispute of 759.8 billion yuan. Among them, there were 2,226 cases relating to foreign or Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, or Taiwan region.
II. Judicial Review of Arbitration Cases
In 2019, Chinese courts accepted 20,528 new cases, and there were 1,649 pending cases from past years. A total of 20, 513 cases were concluded, with a concluding rate of 92.6%. Finally, the number of recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards from other jurisdictions is 82, accounting for 0.4%.
The types of disputes in 2019:
- Applications for setting-aside arbitral awards: 53.4%;
- Applications for preservation order: 19.3%
- Applications for determining the validity of the arbitration agreement: 14.1%
- Non-enforcement applications of arbitral awards: 12.8%.
- Applications for recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards from other jurisdictions: 0.4%
A. 11,029 cases of applications for determining the validity of the arbitration agreement have been concluded. Among them:
- Set aside completely or partially: 637
- Dismissed: 7876
- Withdrawn with permission: 1258
- Deemed as being withdrawn: 324
- Concluded through mediation: 518
- Terminated: 376
- Others: 40
B. 3,959 preservation order type cases have been concluded. Among them:
- Upheld: 3,428
- Dismissed: 15
- Withdrawn: 78
- Others: 438
C. 2,860 cases of applications for determining the validity of the arbitration agreement have been concluded. Among them:
- Upheld: 773;
- Dismissed: 1,120
- Withdrawn: 390
- Others: 577
D. 2,609 non-enforcement type cases have been concluded. Among them:
- Refused to be enforced: 88
- Dismissed: 766
- Partially recognized and enforced: 2
- Withdrawn: 1,171
- Others: 582
III. Case of Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards
32 cases of applying for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards have been concluded, Among them:
- 20 foreign arbitral awards were recognized and enforced;
- 1 application was partially recognized and enforced;
- 6 applications were withdrawn;
- 4 jurisdictional applications were rejected;
- 1 application was rejected.
Among these cases where foreign arbitral awards were recognized and enforced in China, 18 were institutional arbitral awards managed by the following arbitration institutions. Among them:
- ICC: 5
- SIAC: 3
- ICDR: 2
- CCI Russia: 2
- KCAB International: 2
- ICAC: 2
- JCAA: 1
- SCC: 1
- CAS: 1
Among these cases where foreign arbitral awards were recognized and enforced in China, 13 were ad hoc arbitral awards. Among them:
- 11 were arbitrated in London, England
- 1 in Stockholm, Sweden
- 1 in Switzerland
Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌