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The seminar of China and Africa arbitration system and practice was successfully held in Shanghai

 

The seminar of China and Africa arbitration system and practice, led by China Law Society and organized by SHIAC, was successfully held in Shanghai on march 20th and 21st, 2017. In the past two daysmore than 20 representatives from CAJAC Johannesburg and Kenya Nairobi International Arbitration Center exchanged opinions with arbitrators of SHIAC, lawyers and in-house counsels. 

The opening ceremony was host by Mr.Li Zhigang, the deputy chairman of SHIAC. Mr.Yang Jianrong, the chairman of SHIAC, Mr.Gu Zhaomin, the director of the oversea liaison department of China Law Society, and the Mr. Michael David Cuper, chairman of the CAJAC Johannesburg respectively delivered a welcome speech.

Mr.Ma Yi, the deputy chairman and secretary general of SHIAC moderated the first session of the seminar. Mr. Chen Nai wei, the professor of Fudan University, executive dean of inns of court and arbitrator of SHIAC, introduced the China foreign-related arbitration system and practice. He not only traced the history and legal resources of Chinese arbitration system, but also illustrated the internal reporting system and identification of foreign-related elements. In addition, he pointed the beneficial attempt and practice of Chinese arbitration institution by comparison with International arbitration institution. 

As the former deputy president of South Africa Supreme court of appeal, Justice Louis Theodor Christian Harms presented the information on South Africa Arbitration law and practice. He mentioned African countries are different in Language, culture, religion and have diverse legal systems. How to narrow down the gap is the key element in carrying out arbitration in Africa. He also introduced the court system, the development of South Africa arbitration law, the judicial attitude towards arbitration awards and legal requirement of arbitrator in South Africa. Besides, he emphasized that the 2017 amendment of arbitration law has profound influence in the development of International arbitration in South Africa.

The second session of the seminar was moderated by Mr. Huang Wen, the deputy secretary general of SHIAC. Mr. Laurence Muiruri Ngugi addressed on Kenya arbitration law and practice as the CEO and registrar of Nairobi International arbitration center (“NIAC“). He pointed out that the arbitration law of Kenya evolved in a long way. Unlike other countries, it has been written into Kenya’s constitution law. He also introduced Kenya’s civil procedural law, some leading cases relating to arbitration law and information on NIAC.

March, 21st, the guests from Africa and China communicated further based on the knowledge gained previously. Mr. Huang Wen continued to moderate the meeting.

Mr. Michael David Cuper introduced CAJAC Johannesburg in the very first place as its chairman. With the development in trade between Africa and China, the dispute increased rapidly as well. He looked back to the process of establishment of CAJAC, highlighted the subject and goal of CAJAC and appraised its achievement as well. In line with Justice Harms, he also noted the difference of culture and legal environment among African countries is an un-avoidable problem. 

Mr. Wang Junwei, the deputy chief of legal department of Shanghai Electronic presented the overview of overseas investment, M&A and EPC contract by sharing its own company’s experience. Particularly, he took the example of power transmission and distribution project to illustrate the difficulties of trend and variation, finance and tax, politics and safety, law and policy, religion and culture, territorial culture resources , while he also offered some coping strategy.

The senior arbitrator of Johannesburg, Mr. Austin Leslie Mkhabela, discussed further of the laws impacting investment in South Africa, including the constitution, the Labor Relations Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, the Employment Equity Act, the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, the Competition Act and Consumers protection Act.

Mr. Jin Liyu, the partner of HaiWen & Partners delivered a speech on the subject of investment in Africa and dispute resolution. By analyzing the outline of China and Africa’s trade, he pointed the transition of the dispute’s nature and the key element which should be emphasized when selecting disputed resolution model. Besides, he elaborated the legal bases in the dispute resolution between China and Africa.

In the Q&A session, the African delegation showed a great interest in the investment of Shanghai Electronic and other enterprises in South Africa and other regions of Africa. They exchange the views on security examination, registration and government approval, and tax issues.

During the seminar, arbitrators of CAJAC Shanghai and Johannesburg still shared experience in the case management, judicial review and relevant practice issues of International Arbitration.

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