北京仲裁委员会

仲裁裁决质量的着力点与标尺/What makes a credible arbitral award

发布时间: Thu Feb 14 16:43:09 CST 2019   供稿人:孙玙

本文原载于《商法》2018年12月/2019年1月|第10辑1期,北京仲裁委员会授权转发。


仲裁机构何以公信?说一千道一万,最基础最核心的无外乎所作裁决之质量,只有仲裁裁决的质量一流,论述深入,以理服人,才能形成舆论口口相传的品牌效应,才会让更多的当事人认同仲裁、选择仲裁,发挥仲裁解决社会纠纷的基本职能。离开裁决质量的基础支撑,任何关于仲裁发展的美好规划与愿景都将可能成为空中楼阁。因此,无论是仲裁机构还是仲裁员,都应该将保证裁决质量作为铺陈工作的核心要义。

保证裁决之质量,首要着力于裁判者对待裁决之态度,因为一篇仲裁裁决作出,意味着仲裁机构对当事人争议的是非曲直作出了评判,意味着当事人之间的权利义务关系发生变化,裁决结果甚至有时会影响一个人、一个企业一生一世的前途和命运,并且一裁终局,一锤定音,裁决“这一刀”结果一定要切得公正、公平、公允,过程又一定要切得谨小慎微,应当尽一切可能消除裁决中的错漏与盲点,不断对裁决的论据、论点和语言表达反复“推敲”,先要通过裁决内容的打磨与锤炼“以理服己”,而后裁决公之于世才可能做到“以理服人”。一篇仲裁裁决作出,也是一段争议历史的定格,裁决的功过是非,也会经受历史的评判,因此,裁决之公正性与妥当性,要经受住时光的检验,要让裁决在历史进程的大浪淘沙中稳稳立足,而这一切的基础,就是首先要在态度上对裁决心生敬畏,慎始敬终。

如何衡量仲裁裁决的质量?笔者认为,一篇优质的仲裁裁决应该做到“三有一平”,即有依据、有逻辑、有分寸、裁断公平,应以上述几点作为衡量裁决质量之标尺,下面对此分而述之:

一是裁决有依据,即裁决中的每一个论断,都应该有相应的依据,是来源于当事人之间的合同约定,还是来源于法律规定?是来源于书面证据,还是来源于庭审陈述?裁决应该依据经过质证的证据所体现的事实以及相应法律规定作出,而裁决中每一个认定的事实,都应该能从当事人的证据中找到相应的依据,像那些只有一方口头陈述而没有其他任何证据辅证的“事实”,或者仲裁员通过案外调查和自身经验获得的“事实”,认定起来便要格外慎重。法律依据层面,要注意法律适用的层级、范围和时效性(如物保问题上物权法对担保法的更新),以及与事实依据的契合性,既要援引对法律,也要援引准法律。在撰写裁决过程中,就要想象某点事实认定或法律认定在当事人日后指着裁决质问凭什么的时候,裁判者可以有足够的底气和自信不假思索地说出相应的依据。有依据是一篇裁决让人信服之根基。

二是裁决有逻辑,即裁决的整体分析架构,应该具有相应的逻辑体系。比如先明确申请人的请求范围,探究被申请人的答辩范围,洞悉双方争议点何在(确定问题),对于这一争议点,双方证据有何支撑,事实如何认定,法律如何援引,理由何在(分析问题),对这一争议点应该怎样认定是非曲直,对当事人请求如何评判(解决问题)。从仲裁庭意见的写作结构中,应该可以让当事人一目了然地看清裁判的逻辑思路,能够识别从大前提、小前提推导出结论的逻辑三段论体系,同时裁决应该避免有自相矛盾、以偏概全、因果倒置等常见逻辑错误。有逻辑应当是法律文书区别于一般文字表达的特征之所在,一篇逻辑上论证严密、体系一气呵成的裁决自然而然会让人的信任感油然而生。

三是裁决有分寸,即裁决的每一处措辞,都要体现法律的客观与谦抑,不宜掺杂过多个人感情色彩,不宜对当事人的行为进行道德评价,不宜出现让人感觉有倾向性的文字表达,要准确拿捏裁决语言的“力道”,要让当事人从字里行间洞察到法言法语、严守中立、不亢不卑的裁判者形象。另外,因为经裁决认定后的基本是有一定既判力的事实和论断,当事人可以借此“举一反三”,如果没有十足的把握,裁决的用语不宜过于绝对,应留有适当余地,如调整违约金时认定“当事人没有因对方违约产生任何损失”就宜调整为“没有证据显示当事人因对方违约可能产生了相应损失”。

裁决用语要考虑到再出现类似情形,是否可以保证同案同判的问题,过于绝对的言语容易让人在其他情况下陷入自相矛盾的境地。有分寸是衡量一篇裁决质量潜移默化之细节,也是最能体现裁判者的智慧之所在。

最后,裁决最核心的一点,就是结果一定要做到裁断公平。虽然法律对仲裁的监督更多着眼于程序方面,仲裁更应当重视程序正义,但是,程序正义应当以实质正义为目标与导向,裁决最终应当体现对当事人利益的公平裁断,而不是机械教条地套用法律条文,过于简单地了结当事人的利益诉求。要做到裁断公平的实质正义,就应该站在全局高度,在对案件内外所有情况,尤其是对当事人的书面证据、庭审言辞、交易背景、争议缘由等进行充分调查分析后,在法律的框架内对当事人的是非曲直进行裁断。其中特别需要着重考量当事人每一项请求的“对价”,即如果裁断当事人获得其请求的利益时,他是否付出了对应的成本?裁断当事人履行必要的义务时,他是否已经获得了相应的收益?只有做到裁断公平,才能让仲裁裁决“知行合一”,实现法律效果与社会效果之统一,才能为仲裁机构赢得社会之公信力。如果说有依据、有逻辑、有分寸是裁决之本,那么裁断公平就是裁决之魂。

综上,仲裁裁决之质量,事关仲裁之公信。裁判者应竭尽所能,用敬畏之心、公平之念去对每一篇裁决书字斟句酌,让这些裁决做到有依据可寻、有逻辑可显、有分寸可控、有公平可言,要让仲裁裁决经受住当事人字里行间的推敲,也经受住时光和历史的检验。

作者:北京仲裁委员会/北京国际仲裁中心高 级核稿秘书孙玙。北仲高级主管许捷对文章 亦有贡献


How can you define whether an arbitration institution is credible or not? Arbitral awards thatresult from well-administered arbitrations will give the answer. The quality or the credibility of an arbitral award is the dominant factor that users consider when choosing among different dispute resolution mechanisms and endorsing arbitration by word of mouth.

Poor quality arbitral awards, which may lack elaboration of the facts or convincing reasoning, will fail user expectations of arbitration and even hinder the development of the arbitration industry at large. It is, therefore, the essence of arbitrators’work and arbitration institutions’administration to ensure the credibility of arbitral awards.

The guarantee of credibility is arbitrators’consciousness of the importance of the matters at hand. An arbitral award is nothing less than a final word to an individual, a company or an entity. It is a judgment telling right from wrong. Parties will move onto different paths from the original legal relationship, and the nature of finality demands a clear cut of the cake.

That is the importance an arbitratorneeds to be aware of when he or she is drafting an award and cutting the cake – to be impartial, fair and even-handed. Arbitrators should be careful of erroneous understanding of facts, stereotypes in reasoning, and to be mindful of words in arguments and responses.

An arbitrator should keep polishing an award until he or she can answer all the doubts embedded in his or her conscience. An arbitral award may close a dispute with the arbitrators’ words on record. The parties and their successors, however, will not forget. A fair arbitral award will sustain itself under whatever challenges and criticisms there may be. In short, arbitrators’ consciousness of importance of their decision is the foundation of credibility.

What makes a good quality arbitral award? The authors’ conclusion is “three in one”. Reliability, legitimacy and decency are the three measurements, and fairness is the one natural outcome.

Reliability means every ruling in an award must be directed to existing facts or factual grounds. An arbitrator needs to clarify and elaborate: Is it the result of an agreement or a conclusion of a statute? Is it based on documented evidence or the witnesses’/parties’ statements?

Examined evidence is the only reference of facts in arbitration. An award must elaborate on that reference according to the applicable rules. In extreme situations where facts are established by statements only, or need to be established by arbitrators’ own investigation or experience, arbitrators should be extra careful of becoming arbitrary.

It is noteworthy that under the Chinese legal framework, one has to apply the correct law and the accurate law when establishing facts. Find the correct legal hierarchy, define the applicable scope, and be aware of the update of new laws (for example, the Property Law changes the rule of real securities in the Security Law).

When drafting an award, one should imagine when the parties question a particular finding of fact, or the applicable law in the future. Will they be able to come up with a clear reference to the evidence immediately and confidently? That is reliability.

Legitimacy means that the structure of analysis and reasoning in an award should be logical. For example, first, one should identify the claims and defence in parties’ statements and locate parties’ dispute (ascertain the problem). Second, one should analyse the evidence, establish the facts, apply the law, and respond to the arguments in general (analysing the problem). Third, one should then rule over the dispute, tell right from wrong, and give resolution or make judgment (solving the problem).

Parties should be able to read the arbitrator’s logic in the reasoning. A syllogism including premise and conclusion should be clear in structure. Meanwhile, an award should avoid common logical mistakes such as inconsistencies, overgeneralisation and backward reasoning. Logical structure distinguishes legal writing from casual writing. A well-structured award articulated with logical arguments is the essence of legitimacy.

Decency means tailored wording in an award, which will provide parties with a glimpse of the solemn figure of law. Moral comments or emotional expressions are unnecessary and leading. Words contained in an award must be objective and restrained. A good arbitrator may master the strength of the wording.

The art of wording also matters in many situations. Arguably, rulings in an award may be res judicata, or have the effect of issue preclusion in general. Parties will be bound in the same situation. It is always good to leave room for uncertain changes in the future without using certain words. For example, under Chinese law, when it comes to actively adjusting liquidated damages, a tribunal can say “there was no evidence to show that the claimant suffered loss as a result of the respondent’s breach of contract”, rather than “the claimant did not suffer any loss as a result of the respondent’s breach of contract”.

Wordings of an award should also allow consistent findings in similar cases and situations. Absolute wordings can easily harm the decency of arbitration if inconsistent decisions have to be made in similar situations. Although wording is subtle, it is the reflection of decent dispute resolution.

As a result of reliability, legitimacy and decency, fairness becomes the core of an award. Although the arbitration community celebrates a procedure-focused judicial review, due process, which is paramount to the success of arbitration, is oriented by the quest for justice.

An arbitral award should cut the cake fairly, but not do the math according to statutes, or just split the cake evenly. To achieve that, an arbitrator needs to gain a bigger picture of the dispute, assess parties’ evidence, statements, business background and the cause of dispute, etc., comprehensively telling right from wrong thereafter under a specific legal framework.

One tip for arbitrators is the assessment of “consideration” – if an interest is satisfied in a contractual relationship, what did the claiming party pay for it? If a burden is afforded by a party, what will be the corresponding benefits? In general, to ensure fairness in an arbitral award is the only way to fulfil parties’ expectations of dispute resolution, and to earn credibility for arbitration. Three in one is the body and soul of a credible arbitral award.

All in all, what makes a credible arbitral award makes a credible arbitration. Tribunals need to be conscious of the importance, pursue reliable, legitimate and decent fact-finding and reasoning, and thus let a fair award light the parties’ way out of their disputes.

Sun Yu is a senior case manager of Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Center (BAC/BIAC). BAC/BIAC’s senior manager, Terence Xu, also contributed to the article

因本合同引起的或与本合同有关的任何争议,均提请北京仲裁委员会/北京国际仲裁中心按照其仲裁规则进行仲裁。仲裁裁决是终局的,对双方均有约束力。
活动安排
版权所有:北京仲裁委员会 京ICP备12026795号友情链接   |   版权声明

京公网安备 11010502036977号