Hainan’s newly-established First and Second Foreign-related Civil and Commercial Tribunals marks China’s first step towards a more centralized administration system on international cases.
Two tribunals were set up in Hainan, China’s southernmost province, to centrally hear foreign-related civil and commercial cases in the whole province. It marks China’s first step towards a more centralized administration system on international cases.
The two tribunals set up in Hainan Province were respectively named the First Foreign-related Civil and Commercial Tribunal (located at Haikou, the capital city of Hainan), and the Second Foreign-related Civil and Commercial Tribunal (located at Sanya, the most well-known seaside resort city in China).
It was the first time for China to try to centralize the foreign-related civil and commercial cases in the whole province to certain tribunals. Previously, these cases were usually handled by competent courts at primary and intermediate levels.
Hainan took this approach in order to better hear foreign-related civil and commercial cases.
Generally, Chinese judges in most local courts have very rare chances to deal with foreign-related civil and commercial cases, and therefore lack the related professional capability. Concentrated in certain tribunals, the foreign-related civil and commercial cases in the whole province will be heard by more experienced judges. The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) believes that this practice will provide investors with more stable expectations. 
China has established the pilot free trade zone (port) in Hainan, and has made efforts to set up a better cross-border commercial dispute settlement mechanism there. The SPC has also drawn up a corresponding plan for this purpose. The establishment of foreign-related civil and commercial tribunals is part of the plan.
 《海南第一、第二涉外民商事法庭海口知识产权法庭揭牌成立》, http://www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-187641.html,
 《最高人民法院关于为海南全面深化改革开放提供司法服务和保障的意见》, http://www.court.gov.cn/fabu-xiangqing-111631.html.
Photo by Agathè Yosefina(https://unsplash.com/@agathayosefina) on Unsplash
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌