北京仲裁委员会

简评关于《北京仲裁委员会仲裁规则》及附录收费标准的修改说明 / Comments on the Latest Amendment of BAC/BIAC’s Arbitration Rules

发布时间: 2019-8-30   供稿人:闻戒(笔名)

近日,北仲发布了关于《北京仲裁委员会仲裁规则》及附录收费标准的修改说明。夏日劲风乍起,霎那间吹皱仲裁界惯于坐而论道大谈公信力、畅想一带一路的一池春水。更有学者用地震海啸来形容北仲的此次革新。绝非虚言也。

即将于2019年9月1日施行的北仲规则,最大亮点在于改革了仲裁费的收费办法。北仲新规则摒弃了案件受理费与处理费的计费方法,将仲裁费用明确分为仲裁员报酬与机构费用两部分。北仲在其新规则修改说明中阐述,这么划分有利于当事人清楚仲裁费用的用途,有利于提高仲裁员的积极性,体现对仲裁员专家价值和专业付出的尊重。

对北仲仲裁员或接近北仲的人来说,仲裁费用如何分配早已实现透明。北仲将仲裁费用的一半作为仲裁员报酬,仲裁庭成员之间如何分配,相关规范已行之有年。此次新规则继续迈出一步,将内部规范上升为对世规则,增强相关制度的稳定性,也让当事人及社会各界充分知晓。这次的修改,对北仲而言只是迈出了一小步,但对中国仲裁界而言,则是迈出了一大步。意义重大而深远。

首先,正本清源,确立仲裁员在仲裁中的核心地位。中外仲裁法均规定仲裁员是争议的审理者与裁判者。仲裁的好坏取决于仲裁员的好坏等格言也揭示着仲裁员是仲裁的核心。然而在既往的普遍实践中,仲裁费用由机构收取,作为仲裁核心的仲裁员应当分得多少报酬,缺少规范。有的机构仲裁员报酬极低,有的机构仲裁费用很高但与仲裁员无关;有的机构进行绩效打分考核,视仲裁员如员工;有的机构把仲裁的公益性理解成了仲裁员要公益性提供服务。

十三年前,梁慧星教授针对中国仲裁机构的各类实践,提出了发人思考的问题:仲裁员到底是提供仲裁服务,还是为仲裁机构提供服务?而北仲新规则终于给出了答案。一方面,新规则明确了仲裁员报酬与机构费用,且仲裁员报酬高于机构费用。另一方面,新规则彻底改变了由机构给仲裁员“发钱”、“发报酬”的做法,厘清了仲裁机构与仲裁员在“钱”上面的关系,明确了仲裁员报酬直接来自于当事人。当事人清楚自己交的某部分费用专款专用于仲裁员报酬,机构只是暂时代管该部分费用。这在最为关键的仲裁收费上,确立了仲裁员的核心主导地位,即仲裁员提供仲裁服务,而当事人为服务支付报酬。所以说,北仲新规则引发的是我国仲裁机构收费的质变而不是量变。

其次,放权让利,彰显公益性、非营利性。近期仲裁界热议的是如何提高仲裁公信力。相关部门更进一步明确将我国的仲裁机构界定为提供公益性服务的非营利法人。长期以来,我国仲裁机构的利润水平怎样,外界不得而知。除北仲每年公开仲裁费用收支数据外,绝大部分仲裁机构只热衷于公布自己受理的案件数量和争议标的额,对于仲裁费用收支都讳莫如深。北仲新规则不仅抬高了仲裁员报酬的最低数额,更提高了仲裁员报酬在全部仲裁费用中的比例,实现了在没有增加当事人费用负担的情况下,大幅降低机构费用,更加彰显了其非营利法人性质。

再次,新规则将中国仲裁的国际化推向了新高度。国际化是当下很多行业的追求目标。仲裁界亦不例外,增加国际名称或设立国际仲裁院的机构如雨后春笋。然而,中国仲裁的国际化,绝不在于名称中是否有国际,也不在于仲裁员名册中有外籍仲裁员,就像大学的国际化不在于有多少外国留学生。中国仲裁的国际化在于外国企业、律师和仲裁员对于我国仲裁的真正认可与接受,在于仲裁制度层面与国际先进规则的接轨,在于理念的趋同。很久以来,中外仲裁实践最主要的区别之一就是仲裁收费模式迥异。北仲的改革,放下了机构利益,知而行之,实现了中外仲裁收费模式的接轨。这无疑将我国仲裁的国际化推向了新高度,更易于获得外国企业、律师和仲裁员的认同和选择。

最后,北仲新规则为我国仲裁员职业化建设提供了关键条件。高质量的仲裁服务需要能力强、水平高、具备敬业精神和道德操守的仲裁员。我国基本上还没有一支职业化仲裁员队伍,主要以仲裁员为谋生手段,以仲裁员为主业的队伍,也因此,很多仲裁机构的共同感叹是觉得缺少好仲裁员。笔者以为,我们还没有开始职业仲裁员建设,而国外,有很多以仲裁员报酬为主要收入来源的专业人士。因为以此为生,他们珍惜声誉、精进业务、勤勉敬业、深孚众望。为什么我国缺少职业仲裁员队伍?原因是多方面的,但现有仲裁员报酬制度是其中最大制约因素。北仲新规则在仲裁员报酬上的改革,为我国建立发展职业仲裁员队伍提供了必要制度保障,必将开辟我国职业仲裁员队伍的建设之路。

当然,北仲新规则也给北仲自己提出了挑战,牵一发而动全身,如何在新费用体系下用更少的费用保证机构的高水平运行,如何新费用体系下保持机构管理权与仲裁员自主权的平衡等等。

天行健,君子以自强不息。颠扑不破的道理是,勇者无敌。以此向改革创新的北仲新规则致敬。

作者:闻戒(笔名),北京仲裁委员会/北京国际仲裁中心仲裁员

牛津大学的吴纪涛女士及北仲高级主管许捷对文章亦有贡献


Comments on the Latest Amendment of BAC/BIAC’s Arbitration Rules

Recently, BAC/BIAC announced the latest amendment of its Arbitration Rules (hereinafter the New Rules). The New Rules mark the dawning of a new age for arbitration in China, bringing about striking improvement in the industry’s credibility and sparking high hopes for its global ambition. Some scholars have even commended the Chinese arbitration community for realizing such groundbreaking change. Their compliments are echoed here.

The New Rules, which will come into effect on September 1, 2019, mainly focus on the reform of the arbitration fees schedule. Case acceptance fees and handling fees are no longer the two categories of arbitration fees. Instead, arbitration fees comprise two separate parts, namely, arbitrator remunerations and institutional fees. The BAC/BIAC states in its explanatory notes on the New Rules that “such division is conducive to clarifying arbitration fees for the parties. It will elevate the arbitrators’ performance by allowing equivalent remunerations of the arbitrators’ professional contribution to a specific arbitration case. ”

Prior to the New Rules, the allocation of remuneration has already been made transparent internally for BAC/BIAC’s arbitrators. Nearly half of the arbitration fees are the tribunal’s remunerations and the allocation of fees among the three arbitrators are well controlled by BAC/BIAC’s internal norms. The New Rules take further initiative of formalizing such internal norms and publicizing them to the world in a well-stated manner. This reform, with far-reaching impacts, may be a small step for BAC/BIAC but certainly a giant leap for the Chinese arbitration community.

First of all, the New Rules foreground the importance of arbitrators who decide the outcome of cases in the arbitration process. As the saying goes, “arbitration is only as good as its arbitrators”. While arbitrators play a leading role in guiding the arbitration process, fees were often collected by the institution rather than the individual arbitrator in a typical arbitration case. The system used to be silent on the allocation of arbitration fees between the institution and arbitrators. Some institutions allocate only a small part of the fees to the arbitrators despite high total costs, thinning the arbitrators’ benefit. Some consider arbitrators employees and pay remuneration as salary. Some claim that arbitration is a non-profit business so arbitrators should do good on a pro bono basis.

Thirteen years ago, Professor Huixing Liang investigated the practice among Chinese arbitration institutions and raised the question: Are the arbitrators providing arbitration service? Or are they serving the arbitration institutions? The New Rules give a two-pronged answer. One, the New Rules clarify payable arbitrators’ remuneration and institutional fees, ensuring that the former is higher than the latter.  Two, the New Rules revolutionized the way arbitration institutions administer remuneration to arbitrators. Although institutions collect all arbitration fees including what is payable as remuneration to arbitrators, such remuneration is not charged by the institution and is fully pocketed by the arbitrator. This illuminates how, in essence, arbitration fees flow directly from client to arbitrator, thereby giving recognition to the importance of the arbitrator’s work.

Second, the New Rules institutionalize the Chinese arbitration practice and emphasize its non-profit quality. With the advent of the New Rules, gone are the times when most arbitration institutions apart from few, such as BAC/BIAC, would keep their profit margins under wraps while simultaneously boasting about the number of cases they were handling. The New Rules eliminate the arbitration community's opacity when it comes to reporting income, rendering the arbitration practice in China more institutionalized and transparent. Further, alongside active discussions amongst the Chinese arbitration community about the rising credibility of arbitration, authorities have also come to define Chinese arbitration institutions as non-profit legal persons. The New Rules augment the non-profit nature of arbitration by increasing the minimum amount of arbitrators' remunerations as well as the proportion of such remunerations in the total arbitration fees, without increasing the cost borne by the parties involved.

Third, the New Rules propel the internationalization of Chinese arbitration to new heights. Internationalization is an ambition in the eyes of many industries in China. This is no exception for the Chinese arbitration community. In pursuit of this, many arbitration institutions have adopted international names and set up international branches in recent years. Yet, the internationalization of Chinese arbitration is not a matter of name or of how many foreign arbitrators there are on the panel. True internationalization occurs when foreign arbitration users embrace the Chinese arbitration practice, the crux of which lies in aligning Chinese arbitration principles and practices with international standards. In this light, BAC/BIAC’s New Rules are one step in the right direction. The New Rules reconciliate the long-standing difference between Chinese and international arbitration practice regarding arbitration fees by encouraging institutions to look beyond self-interests and prioritize the quality of service they provide. Such reform launches Chinese arbitration to greater heights and enhances its status in the international arena, attracting the recognition of foreign enterprises, lawyers and arbitrators.

Finally, the New Rules provide solid groundwork for promoting the professionalization of arbitration in China. This is crucial as the quality of arbitration services rely upon the professionalism and moral integrity of arbitrators. Yet, China has long suffered from a shortage of professional arbitrators who treat arbitration as their full-time career, which has proven to be a struggle for Chinese arbitration institutions seeking high-calibre arbitrators. Meanwhile, international arbitrators have long regarded arbitration as their main career. With their job at stake, international arbitrators are therefore much more committed to maintaining an excellent reputation by working diligently and providing impeccable service. What is it, then, that keeps China from having such professional arbitration teams? One of the most prominent limitations is the flawed remuneration system for arbitrators, a problem which the New Rules effectively tackle. A more transparent allocation of arbitration fees encourages the development of professionals in the field, providing fertile grounds for the nurturing of professional arbitration teams in China.

Despite the benefits introduced by the New Rules, they also pose challenges to BAC/BIAC’s practice. BAC/BIAC will be faced with questions such as how it would maintain the high quality of institutional case management with less institutional fees, as well as how it would balance institutional quality control with arbitrators’ independent decision-making.

Concluding with a quote by French novelist Honoré de Balzac, who once said “there is no such thing as a great talent without great willpower”, I hereby pay tribute to the BAC/BIAC’s unwavering determination in pursuing self-enhancement and innovative reforms.

The author is one of the listed arbitrators of Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration CenterBAC/BIAC.

Ms. Odessa Ng from the University of Oxford and 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。
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