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Seminar on New Development in Arbitration in Shanghai and Singapore Successfully Held

In the afternoon of May 15, 2017, the Seminar on New Development in Arbitration in Shanghai and Singapore was jointly held by SHIAC and Singapore International Arbitration Center (“SIAC”) at Junhe Law Office. Over 50 guests from law firms, companies and arbitration institutions attended the seminar. Ms. Sophia Feng, Head (China) and Chief Representative (China), and Mr. Yao Hongmin, Director of SHIAC Commercial Arbitration Research Center, delivered opening remarks on behalf the two organizing institutions.

Prof. Lawrence Boo, Independent Arbitrator, gave a lecture on the topic of the Role of the National Court in Investor-State Arbitration. His lecture was based on the case of Sanum Investments Ltd. v. Government of the Lao People’s Democratic, [2016] SCCA 57 (“the Sanum case”). He introduced the judgments of Singapore courts and the question of whether the China-Lao bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”) can be applied to Macau SAR. Prof. Boo also shared his opinion on the Sanum case, analyzed the difference between cases sought based on the BITs and the ordinary international commercial arbitration cases, and talked about the jurisdiction of Singapore courts in reviewing the arbitral awards of international investment arbitration cases.

 

Mr. Yao Hongmin shared with the audience his research on the Evolution and Developments of Commercial Arbitration Practices and Judicial Review in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (“FTZ”). He introduced the general information about commercial arbitration practices in the Shanghai FTZ during the recent years, and analyzed the newest developments of FTZ-related judicial review based on the Opinions of Supreme People’s Court for Providing Judicial Protection for the Construction of FTZ (“the Opinion”). He dated back to several cases in which the Chinese courts reviewed arbitration that has been submitted abroad while it has no foreign related elements, interpreted the attitude towards ad hoc arbitration in the Opinion, and talked about the understanding of the three specific elements. Mr. Yao deems that the Opinion will have significant influence on the innovation of judicial review over commercial arbitration in the FTZ.

 

Mr. Chen Luming, Partner of Junhe LLP, made a speech on the Major Difference between International Commercial Arbitration and Investment Arbitration: With An Introduction to the New SIAC Investment arbitration Rules. Based on his practical experience and related cases, Mr. Chen talked about the differences between international commercial arbitration and investment arbitration in aspects of legal system, applicable law, jurisdiction, formation of tribunal, case management, transparency and so on. He pointed out that, foreign investments of Chinese enterprises develops rapidly under the Belt and Road Initiative. Parties shall pay more attention to the characteristics of international investment arbitration as this kind of case will increase more in the future. Mr. Chen also introduced and commented on the innovations in Singapore’s investment arbitration rules.

The speakers and audience had heated discussion during the Q&A part. They discussed on questions including problems in concluding arbitration clauses in commercial contracts, innovations of arbitration system and judicial review mechanism in the Shanghai FTZ, general attitude of judicial review from Singapore courts, considerations of arbitrator appointment from arbitration institutions, judicial review over ad hoc arbitration, and definition trend of foreign related elements in arbitration and so on.

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