北京仲裁委员会

中国仲裁愿景:对话北仲陈福勇

发布时间: 2019-12-3   供稿人:陈福勇


在中国,仲裁是一项舶来的争议解决制度。业界长久以来的主流话题是仲裁实践如何与国际接轨。然而,若认真检视国际仲裁领域“正在热议”的一系列改革建议,不难发现在中国仲裁试图与国际接轨的同时, 国际仲裁也正在吸收、融合一些中国业已形成的实践惯例或因素。

模式概要

跨越大陆法系和英美法系差异的争议解决模式。中国仲裁行业不断国际化的进程使得外国律师有可能在北京体验到与其他主要仲裁中心城市相差无几的仲裁过程,例如香港、新加坡、伦敦和巴黎等。《GAR 区域仲裁指南(2018)》评价《北京仲裁委员会仲裁规则》时提及,这份  仲裁规则在保障当事人意思自治方面可谓是中国内地最具有弹性且接近国际标准的范例。当事人几乎可以以任何自己想要的方式推进案件,即便在确定仲裁适用法这样棘手的事项上,当事人也具有足够的意思自治余地。

但中国内地的仲裁程序事项并非没有自身特色,也不能认为其仲裁规则是对国际仲裁实践的照搬照抄。尽管中国内地被认为属于大陆法系法域,其诉讼实践中具备法官纠问和重视书证的关键特征,但这不意味着中国仲裁程序也必然遵循这些大陆法系的实践方式。更确切地说,

《北京仲裁委员会仲裁规则》明确规定,“本规则未明确规定的事项,北仲或仲裁庭有权按照其认为适当的方式推进仲裁程序,以促使当事人之间的争议得到高效和公平的解决。”

同样,也不能当然认为仲裁庭会自动倾向英美法系的实践方式。对于偏好英美法系实践方式的用户,明智的做法是就特定程序事项进行特别约定,以确保英美法系的程序或者相关国际仲裁实践能够在中国仲裁中得以采用。

诉答风格

在国际仲裁实践中,仲裁庭倾向于要求各方当事人按照特定的编排模式撰写仲裁文书(具体内容视情况而定),并列举式地将诉答焦点呈现出来。在中国仲裁的实践中,仲裁文书的风格总体而言较国际仲裁更简明扼要一些。一方当事人通常将支持其主张的证人证言连同其书面意见和能够支持其主张的书证一并提交。除非就程序事宜各方当事人另有约定,或仲裁庭作出其他决定,否则对于诉答的轮数没有具体的规定或限制。在实践中,一份仲裁申请书/ 答辩书不仅仅是列出基本主张要点, 同时还能囊括完整的案情陈述书/ 答辩意见等内容。

证据披露

在国际仲裁领域,关于证据披露的滥用抱怨诸多。在中国,如果各方当事人想要具体文件的披露,明智的做法是提前在仲裁协议中选择适用国际律师协会国际仲裁证据规则。如果各方当事人没有指定一套证据规则,中国仲裁的仲裁员所采用的证据规则将包括《仲裁法》和机构仲裁规则中的相关规定。在这些规定之下,仲裁庭并不当然具有命令一方当事人披露具体文件的权力。不过,若一方当事人在某一案件中提出主张并且可以证明相关证据只掌握在对方当事人手中,对方当事人就应当出示该证据。若该当事人无正当理由拒绝披露,仲裁庭可以据此推定持有证据且拒绝披露的一方当事人承担举证不利的后果。

庭审

在国际仲裁领域,越来越多的仲裁庭希望限制证人的盘问,并更多围绕书证进行审理。通常,在中国的庭审仅仅持续半天或一天的时间,远远比主要国际仲裁机构的庭审所需的时间要短。这很大程度上是因为如果中国当事人认为所呈交的书面证据足以证明他们的主张,就很少在仲裁程序中引入证人。当然,对于更加复杂的争议,庭审也会持续数日,或者前前后后会举行数次庭审。

办案秘书的角色

传统上,中国的仲裁机构会将每一个案指派给一位办案秘书。相较于国际仲裁的案件经办人,办案秘书扮演着更加重要的角色。通常办案秘书会直接处理后勤性和程序性的案件管理事务,例如文书送达和程序性通知的发出。这可以使仲裁员集中精力处理实质性问题。在中国, 一些专家主张限制办案秘书的角色,鼓励仲裁庭承担更多的工作。然而近年来,引入仲裁庭秘书却成为国际仲裁领域愈发普遍的实践,这似乎印证了中国仲裁中让办案秘书承担比案件经办人更为广泛的职责具有合理性。

总体而言,相较于西方通常由律师主导的、冗长的仲裁实践,中国仲裁实践的智慧在于让仲裁庭和仲裁机构各司其职,从而使仲裁程序能以高效经济的方式开展,并就具体争议“量体裁衣”。尽管目前尚不能断言中国和西方的仲裁传统将如何交汇,但不同实践的融合是仲裁实践未来的趋势。

In CHINA, arbitration is something transplanted from other countries. Bringing the arbitration rules in line with international practice has long been a mainstream topic in the field. However, if we look at all the proposals so far to improve the “widely accepted” norms in international arbitration, we may find that some of the international norms that China is trying to learn may be in the process of evolving towards the domestic norms that China currently follows.

A BASIC MODE

Beyond the differences between civil and common law. The continual efforts in encouraging the internationalization of Chinese arbitration have made it possible for foreign lawyers to argue arbitration cases in Beijing in a similar fashion to the way they do before tribunals in other leading arbitration centres such as Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris. According to GAR’s Guide to Regional Arbitration 2018, the BAC rules are the most flexible of those offered in China in terms of party autonomy, where they approach the international norm. You are very likely able to arbitrate a dispute pretty much in any way you want, even when it comes to the vexed topic of which laws should apply.

It is not, however, safe to assume that all relevant procedural matters are the same, or that they are simply a complete transplantation of international norms. Although China is seen as a civil law jurisdiction, this does not mean that Chinese arbitration proceedings will necessarily always apply the core civil law principles, such as the inquisitorial approach and a focus on documents, which are often referred to as some of the key features of Chinese litigation practice.

Rather, the BAC Arbitration Rules clearly state that, in respect of any matters not expressly provided for in the rules, the BAC may administer, and the arbitral tribunal may conduct, the arbitration in such manner as they consider appropriate to ensure the efficient and fair resolution of the dispute between the parties.

This does not mean that common law procedures will automatically be adopted by the tribunal either. For users who prefer common law procedures, it is advisable to put in a special agreement on the specific procedures that will make sure that common law procedures or international arbitration practices are adopted in the Chinese arbitration.

STYLE OF PLEADING

There is a tendency for the tribunal in international arbitration to require the parties to limit their submissions to a certain number of pages (as appropriate), and focus their pleadings on the key issues. The style and approach to pleading in China is generally shorter and more concise than equivalents in international arbitration outside China. A party is expected to serve supporting witness statements along with its pleading and the documentary evidence that supports its case.

Unless as a matter of procedure already agreed upon by the parties or decided upon by the arbitral tribunal, there is no specific provision or limitation on the rounds of pleadings. However, the usual expectation in practice is not only to set out the basics, but also to include the content of a full statement of the case/statement of defence in the request for arbitration/defence and the answer.

DOCUMENT PRODUCTION

There are many complaints concerning the abuse of document production in international arbitration. In China, if parties want specific document production, it is advisable for them to agree to the use of the International Bar Association (IBA) Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration in advance in their arbitration agreement.

If parties do not specify a set of rules, the rules of evidence that arbitrators in Chinese arbitrations will apply include the evidence rules from the Arbitration Law and institutional arbitration rules.

Under these rules, there is no express power for a tribunal to make orders for the specific production of documents. However, if a party submits an issue in a case, and can show that the relevant evidence is only in the possession of the other party, the other party is expected to disclose the evidence. If it refuses to disclose the evidence without any justifiable reason, and the evidence would have had an adverse impact on the case of the party possessing the evidence, adverse inferences may be drawn from the refusal to disclose.

THE HEARING

There are more and more tribunals in international arbitration that try to limit the evidentiary hearing and rely more on documents. Normally, hearings in China last for only a half day or one day, which is substantially shorter than the hearings before major international arbitration institutions.

This is largely a result of the fact that Chinese parties in arbitrations seldom introduce witnesses in the proceedings if they believe that the documentary evidence they have submitted will be sufficient to prove their claims. However, more complex disputes can have oral hearings lasting several days, or have several hearings in non-consecutive days.

ROLE OF CASE-HANDLING SECRETARY

Traditionally, Chinese arbitral institutions will assign to each individual case a case-handling secretary, who plays a much more important role than those of the case manager in international arbitration. Usually the secretary will directly handle most logistical and even procedural matters in arbitration, for instance, the service of documents and the issuing of procedural notices, and allow arbitrators to focus on substantive issues.

Some experts in China advocate limiting the role of the case- handling secretary and encourage the tribunal to assume more work. However, the growing practice in international arbitration of introducing a secretary to tribunal in recent years seems to justify the Chinese practice of allowing a case-handling secretary to take broader duties than those of a case manager.

In conclusion, compared with lawyer-driven and lengthy Western conventional practice, the Chinese conventional wisdom is to allow the arbitral tribunal and the arbitration institutionto play more active roles, so that the arbitration proceeding can be run in an efficient and cost-effective way and be tailored as appropriate for each dispute.

Although it is not yet clear when Chinese and Western conventional wisdom will meet, they definitely will meet at some point in the future.


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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