Editor's Note: The Third Seminar of the International Commercial Expert Committee of the Supreme People's Court and Reappointment Ceremony of the First Group of Expert Members was held successfully on Augest 25, 2022. Over 40 experts from more than 20 countries and regions focused on the theme of the Development, Challenges and Countermeasures of Cross-Border Commercial Disputes during the seminar. Extensive and in-depth discussions were held within the framework of four specific issues. The texts of speeches delivered by the participants would be posted on the CICC's website.
STRIVING TO PROMOTE EXPLORATION AND INNOVATION IN COMMERCIAL MEDIATION
AND MAKE FURTHER CONTRIBUTION TO THE FOSTERING
OF AN ENABLING BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT GOVERNED BY LAW
CCPIT Mediation Center
On May 18th, 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the conference of the 70th anniversary of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the Global Trade and Investment Promotion Summit via video link. President Xi Jinping praised the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in his address that true to its founding mission of serving Chinese and foreign businesses, the Council has explored innovations in international economic and trade arbitration, intellectual property right services, and commercial mediation, among others. It has provided platforms and opportunities for trade and economic cooperation between China and the rest of the world, and has contributed to an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. President Xi Jinping also asked that the Council must continue to foster an enabling business environment that is based on market principles, governed by law and up to international standards.
The CCPIT/CCOIC Mediation Center (later referred to in this text as "the Mediation Center") was established 35 years ago and has since grown with the progress of China's reform and opening-up to become one of the most influential dispute resolution institutions around the globe. In the new historical conditions, the Mediation Center will continue to be innovation-driven, to meet the needs of the development of international trade and investment, and to make further contributions in solving the problems facing the global economy, trade and investment.
Forging ahead, the CCPIT Mediation System Continues to Make Progress
The CCPIT Mediation Center is the first commercial mediation institution in China, and is developing alongside with the field of commercial mediation.
(1) Answering the developmental needs of the time, commercial mediation was born
In order to adapt to the ever-deepening circumstances of reform and opening-up and to ameliorate China's trade and investment environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (now Ministry of Commerce) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade made a joint request to the State Council of China for the establishment of the Beijing Conciliation Center (renamed as The CCPIT Mediation Center in 2000) in the year 1987. To date, the Mediation Center has set up 62 sub-centers in 59 local councils and 3 industrial councils for the promotion of international trade.
(2) Establishing well-rounded systems and codes, mediation services were regulated
To ensure the orderly operation of mediation, the Mediation Center formulated The Rules of Mediation and The Mediators Ethics Guidelines in 1992, and The Secretary's Working Guidelines in 1998 along with other normative documents so that they can be applied to the operation process of all subcenters. In 2020, The CCPIT Mediation Center and the CCPIT Commercial Sub-council co-established the Specification for Commercial Mediation Services, providing guidance to the standardized development of commercial mediation services.
(3) Promoting extensively at home and abroad, the concept of mediation was promoted
The CCPIT Mediation Center works diligently to promote the concept of mediation. For example, in the year 2019, the Mediation Center and all its sub-centers together held over 120 promoting/training sessions for companies and individuals on the topic of commercial mediation. Over 18,000 people participated in these events. With downward pressure on global economy still increasing and protectionism on the rise, each and every mediation center plays a crucial role in safeguarding the legitimate rights of parties concerned and ameliorating the local investment environment.
(4) Cultivating multi-dimensional external cooperation, a joint mediation mechanism was established
The Mediation Center has signed up cooperation agreements with related institutions from multiple nations and districts through the years, including those from Germany, the United States, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Sweden, South Korea, Canada, Greece, Thailand, Japan, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, and Macau SAR. The Mediation Center has also established a joint mediation mechanism with related foreign institutions. Joint mediation was first initiated by the CCPIT Mediation Center, which has made commercial mediation across countries and regions more convenient than ever.
(5) Building high-level forum platform, the Chinese solution is confidently offered
The CCPIT Mediation Center held the presidency of the Asian Mediation Association (AMA) in 2016 and hosted the International Mediation Summit. Since then, the CCPIT Mediation Center has continued to hold International Mediation Summit annually in all Chinese cities and provinces. Since the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Mediation Center has invited professionals from the field of law and business around the world to join online forums. The number of people participating in the live-streams is rocketing, with law firms and business associations from dozens of countries organizing their members to participate in online sessions. The International Mediation Summit has become the largest and the highest-profile forum on mediation in China. It is also gaining an increasing amount of influence internationally.
Maintaining Innovation-Driven, Joint Efforts Are Made to Bring New Prospects to China's Commercial Mediation
The CCPIT Mediation Center was among the first mediation institutions to be included in the Supreme People's Court's "One-Stop" Diversified International Commercial Dispute Resolution Platform and is making developments continuously.
(1) Taking an active part in the preparation for signing the Singapore Convention on Mediation, The Mediation Center helped promote commercial mediation internationally
The Mediation Center carefully studied the Singapore Convention on Mediation and actively joined symposiums held by the Supreme People's Court and the Ministry of Commerce PRC. In the symposiums, the Mediation Center provided practical experience as a practicing commercial mediation institution to help determine whether China will become one of the first countries to sign up for the Convention. After China has signed up for the Convention, the Mediation Center held a series of events under the topic "One-year anniversary of signing up for the Singapore Convention on Mediation, what do we have to know?", with more than 100,000 people watching online. Through platforms such as the International Mediation Summit, the Mediation Center has organized conversations and discussions focusing on the possible law issues after the Convention came into effect and the boosting effect the Convention had on the development of China's commercial mediation. New ideas and new methods on global commercial mediation, practical skills and cooperation patterns on international dispute resolution have also been exchanged through these platforms, promoting the practical application of commercial mediation on the resolution of international disputes and disagreements.
(2) Revising mediation regulations, mediators' work performance is greatly improved
With many changes of domestic and international situations, commercial mediation is gaining more and more room for development. In order to accommodate new circumstances and new demands in the development of commercial mediation, and to satisfy the parties' need to solve the dispute effectively and efficiently, the Mediation Center has performed a thorough revision on 6 regulations (namely Mediator's Ethics Guidelines, The Inspection Requirements on Mediator's behaviors, Administrative Methods on Training for Mediators, Administrative Regulations on Mediator's Employment, Mediation Rules and Administrative Methods on Mediation Management) since 2021, hoping to improve from multiple aspects (including regulation revision, personnel training and systematic management and improvement) the centers' capabilities to provide mediation service.
(3) Founding professional committee for the resolution of the disputes on intellectual property rights, let experts provide professional mediation service
With disputes over intellectual property rights on the increase, the CCPIT Mediation Center founded the professional committee for the resolution of the disputes on intellectual property rights in September, 2021 based on a comprehensive investigation. The committee is dedicated to providing professional mediation service for those clients, home and abroad, who require a resolution to disputes concerning intellectual property rights in the hope that they can be settled efficiently, amicably, once and for all. To date, the committee has also appointed 31 renowned specialists in the field of intellectual property rights from home and abroad, drafted and released China's first mediation rules on disputes concerning intellectual property rights and is currently operating under the rule.
The period covered by the 14th Five-Year Plan will mark the beginning of China's march toward building a modern socialist country. With the background of comprehensive and in-depth reform, advancement of law-based governance, modernization of China's system and capacity for governance, and the establishment of a powerful nation on intellectual property rights, the mediation system ushers in a true opportunity for innovation and change. Besides, the field of commercial mediation also welcomes broad prospects for future developments. The CCPIT Mediation Center has also made the 2021-2023 development plan, grounding its efforts in the new stage of development, applying the new development philosophy and creating a new development paradigm. The Mediation Center set its eyes on development, and has always tried to innovate, which has surely helped to promote commercial mediation development with a focus on quality improvement. The CCPIT Mediation Center is striving to become an institution of the highest level both home and abroad.
Our world is facing a pandemic and drastic changes both unseen in a century, thus we must implement President Xi Jinping's rule of law, strictly follow the guiding principles of President Xi Jinping's address on May 18th, and abide by the Beijing Initiation issued by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. We must learn to accurately perceive changes, scientifically respond to them, and take the initiative to seek changes. We must also further foster common ground, attempt to innovate and lead development. It is only by joining hand in hand with the general public, and striving to make a difference at the new first position with a strong sense of responsibility and a keen will to overcome all obstacles that we can ultimately establish a brand new prospect for commercial mediation.
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*The original text is Chinese and has been translated into English for reference only. If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the Chinese version and the English version, the Chinese version shall prevail.