Database to help resolve disputes

Updated: Oct 8, 2022 China Daily Print
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A law database regarding the Belt and Road Initiative is expected to be established to help Chinese courts better resolve international commercial disputes and improve the quality of relevant case handling, according to an official from China's top court.

"The database will focus on foreign-related cases, especially those in countries involved in the initiative, so as to give litigants easier access to searching relevant materials," Shen Hongyu, deputy chief judge of the Supreme People's Court's No 4 Civil Division, recently said.

More typical and influential concluded cases related to the initiative will be disclosed, she said, adding that Chinese courts' international commercial dispute resolution system is also to be optimized.

In June 2018, the top court opened its first international commercial court in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and the second in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, and then set up an expert committee to serve as a think tank to mediate between litigants in international commercial disputes and advise the two courts.

In the two courts, how to resolve disputes, whether through mediation, arbitration or litigation, depends on litigants, or the courts integrate the three resolution methods into one platform, which is China's innovation in settling international commercial cases.

So far, the two international commercial courts have dealt with 27 cases, of which 11 have been concluded, according to the top court.

Shen said that the cases heard in the two courts involved litigants from a number of countries, such as the United States, Japan, Italy and Thailand, and encompassed a variety of issues, including the distribution of a company's surplus and the confirmation of a shareholder's qualification.

Shen also revealed that 47 people from around the world have been appointed members of the committee, "serving as a bridge in international exchanges and cooperation and helping build consensus on the rule of law."

To provide more convenience for litigants from home and abroad, the two international commercial courts have also opened their official websites, covering 149 countries and regions, and supported online services, according to Wang Shumei, chief judge of the division.

She said that courts across the country have stepped up efforts in improving the handling of foreign-related commercial and maritime cases over the past decade.

From 2013 to June, courts nationwide concluded some 295,000 such disputes, while issuing 31 judicial interpretations and nine normative documents in this regard, according to her.

Chinese courts also took initiative to take part in making international rules, with greater attention paid to educating talent, especially those handling international trades, investments and maritime disputes, she added.

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