北京仲裁委员会

虚假仲裁的风险防范 / Reducing the risk of sham arbitrations

发布时间: 2019-12-3   供稿人:王瑞华

公信力是商事仲裁机构赖以生存和发展的根本,也是商事仲裁事业健康发展的生命线。随着民事诉讼法、刑法修正案及最高院有关司法解释对虚假诉讼行为的进一步规制,虚假仲裁的概念逐渐出现在仲裁理论和实务界的视野中。笔者认为,虚假仲裁虽然在仲裁实务中出现的几率较低,却会极大程度地损害仲裁公信力,应予以充分重视。仲裁机构及仲裁庭应当通过建立科学、有效的虚假仲裁识别和风险防范机制,避免仲裁程序被恶意利用、给案外人的合法权益带来损害。笔者认为,在仲裁实务中,可以结合仲裁程序各阶段的工作内容对虚假仲裁进行防范:

案件受理阶段:积极提示和预警虚假仲裁风险及后果。就中国大陆地区的机构仲裁实践而言,仲裁机构立案部门在审查仲裁申请材料时,会对仲裁主体、仲裁依据以及仲裁请求等事项进行形式审查,对其是否具体明确予以关注,结合材料的审查及观察当事人的态度及行事风格,通过与当事人的沟通交流,初步了解争议发生的背景情况,提示其从事仲裁活动应本着诚信、善意的原则,必要时请当事人签署诚信仲裁承诺书。同时,立案部门可视情况对案件材料进行信息标识或说明,为后续参与案件处理的办案人员做好信息提示及预警工作。

案件受理后开庭审理前:充分关注虚假仲裁风险点。对于可能存在虚假仲裁风险的仲裁案件,仲裁机构的案件管理部门在程序推进过程中应继续关注虚假仲裁风险点。对于虚假仲裁多发的“手拉手”仲裁的案件,应及时和仲裁庭做好沟通及对接工作,提示其进行庭前准备时,进一步关注案件在仲裁程序及实体方面的细节问题,及时做好阅卷笔记和庭审提纲,以便开庭时有针对性地开展调查。

开庭审理阶段:全面审慎地识别虚假仲裁风险点。仲裁开庭阶段是各方面对面攻防、交锋的过程。充分的信息交换、乃至对当事人的“察言观色”,有助于仲裁庭识别是否存在虚假仲裁的风险。

仲裁庭具体可在以下方面有所着力:一是加强庭审整体把控,观察出庭人员的反应和表现。开庭时向出庭人员释明和强调出庭纪律,重申诚信仲裁原则及虚假仲裁的法律后果,通过进一步观察出庭人员在庭审中的表现,如是否存在己方意见自相矛盾、故意让渡己方核心利益或者漠视己方利益,或者过于紧张、词不达意或顾左右而言他等情形, 进一步加强对虚假仲裁的心证或排除虚假仲裁的嫌疑。

二是注重证据核对与审查。当事人主张的事实与理由前后矛盾时,仔细核对其出示的证据原件,在没有交易凭证的情况下,不轻信当事人的口头陈述和自认。当事人拒不出示证据原件或者不能合理解释证据的,不予采信。

三是审慎开展庭审调查。对于当事人明显不符合行业惯例和商业理性的解释和说明, 通过适当追问、详细了解合同签订及履行合同的背景情况,以仲裁庭的从业经验和对行业的理解作出专业判断并适时回应,提高当事人伪造事实背景的难度。

开庭后到结案阶段:谨慎认定事实并作出裁决。对于通过开庭仍未消除虚假仲裁疑虑的案件,仲裁庭作出裁决时应更加审慎,确保证据链条清晰、完整的情况下方予支持申请人的仲裁请求。若在案证据不足以使仲裁庭形成心证并认可申请人的主张,仲裁庭可以证据不足为由裁决驳回其仲裁请求。此外,对于双方当事人事先达成和解,急于要求仲裁庭出具调解书的情形,仲裁庭更应对调解协议的合法性进行审慎地审查,经审查确实存在虚假仲裁情形的,经谨慎论证后,裁决驳回申请人的仲裁申请。

作者:北京仲裁委员会/北京国际仲裁中心立案室负责人王瑞华。北仲仲裁秘书杨雨菲、刘念琼对文章亦有贡献。

Reducing the risk of sham arbitrations

Credibility is crucial for the existence and development of commercial arbitration institutions.It is also the guarantee for a healthy environment within arbitration practice.

The existence of fraud litigation is a serious concern and has led to the amendment and judicial interpretation of the Civil Procedure Law and Criminal Law. In terms of arbitration, although debated, the concept of sham arbitration has incurred equal attention in both laws.

In practice, the author has rarely experienced a sham arbitration, but the concern of its adverse effect definitely hurts the credibility of arbitration. Therefore, a comprehensive consideration seems necessary.

Arbitral institutions and tribunals would welcome a mechanism to prevent arbitral proceedings from being manipulated to harm the legitimate rights and interests of users of the system. Such a mechanism would need to identify shams scientifically and effectively, so preventing risk. This article explores how to prevent the risk of sham arbitration within each stage of the arbitration proceeding.

At the case acceptance stage: Reminders and risk alerts. In mainland China arbitration practice, the case-filing or case acceptance department of an arbitration institution conducts formal reviews of matters such as double-checking the capacity of the parties, arbitration clauses and claims, etc.

When doing so, institutional personnel should keep an eye on whether the claims are specific and clear, what the background is to the dispute,and in general be sensitive to any abnormal reaction or attitude from the parties concerned. Reminders and risk alerts could be given to make sure the parties are acting on the good faith principal. A letter of commitment, if necessary, could be required.Meanwhile, the case-filing department may mark risky material, or make a note for colleagues who will later manage the arbitration proceedings.

Before the hearing: Making full preparations. For arbitration cases in which sham arbitration risks may exist, continual attention is necessary before the hearing. Case managers could communicate with the arbitration tribunal in a timely manner and give more details when concerned that a sham arbitration may occur, such as in cases of “hand-in-hand" arbitrations. When making preparations for the hearings of such cases, the tribunal is recommended to pay more attention to the risk points when preparing case notes or hearing outlines.

During the hearing: Comprehensive and prudent identification. The arbitration hearing may be a process of confrontation. Sufficient information exchange between the parties and observations of the parties’ behaviour can help the arbitral tribunal identify whether there is a risk of sham arbitration. Specifically, they should focus on three items.

First, strengthen the overall control of the hearing, and observe the responses and performances of the parties.Before the hearing, the tribunal can address the parties, emphasizing the disciplines and reiterating the principle of good faith in arbitration, and the legal consequences of sham arbitration.

The tribunal may further identify the risk of a sham arbitration by observing the performances of the parties during the hearing. If the party’s opinions are self contradictory, or the party intentionally avoids illustrating issues, or disregards their core interests, or if they appear too tense to express their opinions correctly, the tribunal should pay more attention to identify whether there is risk behind the behaviour.

Second, focus on evidence checking and review. When there are any contradictions of facts and evidence, the original evidence presented by the party concerned shall be carefully verified, and the statements and admissions of the party shall be trusted with caution if there is no original evidence. When the parties concerned refuse to provide original evidence, or fail to reasonably explain the evidence, the evidence is better not to be adopted.

Third, the investigation should be carried out prudently. Regarding explanations or illustrations from the parties thatare obviously inconsistent with industry practice and commercial rationality, the tribunal is recommended to learn the factual background and performance of the contract through proper inquiries.

In the meantime, the tribunal could make professional judgment and timely response based on experience. Thus, it would not be easy for the parties to fabricate the background and other information.

From hearing to the closing stage: Rendering awards prudently. For cases in which the risk of sham arbitration might still exist after the hearing, the arbitral tribunal shall be more prudent in making arbitration awards, and ensure that the claims of the applicant can be supported only when the evidence chain is clear and complete.

If the evidence is insufficient for the arbitral tribunal to substantiate and admit the claim, the arbitral tribunal may reject the claim on the ground of lack of evidence. In addition, if both parties have reached consent in advance, and have a strong will towards a conciliation statement, the arbitral tribunal should carefully examine the legality of the conciliation agreement. Through prudent demonstration, if this leads to a sham arbitration, the tribunal should reject the parties’ application.

Wang Ruihua leads the case filing division of Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Centre (BAC/BIAC).

BAC/BIAC case managers Yang Yufei and Liu Nianqiong 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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