On 29 Sept. 2022, the first case of the Xiamen Foreign-related Maritime Tribunal was heard in public.
The Xiamen Foreign-related Maritime Tribunal is China’s first specialized foreign-related maritime tribunal, set up within the Xiamen Maritime Court. Chinese courts are now keen to set up specialized tribunals, so that experienced judges can specialize in particular types of cases.
The first case heard by the tribunal was a typical foreign-related maritime contract dispute involving high demurrage. The plaintiff was a Chinese trading company, and the defendant was an overseas carrier.
Considering the fact that the defendant’s agent was not in China, the judge decided to apply the Internet court system, whereby the plaintiff’s agent appeared in court “offline” while the defendant’s agent participated in the trial “online”.
The tribunal is located in Xiamen. The city is one of the largest ports in China, and is considered the beginning of the Maritime Silk Road in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Cover Photo by Bangyu Wang on Unsplash
Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team