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SHPC releases the implementation opinions on the shanghai courts providing judicial servicesguarantees for the construction of the lingang new area of the china (shanghai) pilot free trade zone
[2019-12-30]

 

 

 

In order to thoroughly implement the central government¡¯s decision on the establishment of the Lingang New Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (hereinafter referred to as the ¡°Lingang New Area¡±), give full play to the role of judicial functions, build the Lingang New Area with high standards and high quality, and provide powerful judicial service guarantees for accelerating the development of special economic functional areas with greater international market influence and competitiveness, on December 30, 2019, the Shanghai Higher People¡¯s Court (hereinafter referred to as the ¡°SHPC¡±) held a press conference and issued the Implementation Opinions on the Shanghai Courts Providing Judicial Services and Guarantees for the Construction of the Lingang New Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (the ¡°Implementation Opinions¡±) and the Guidelines on One-stop Working Mechanism for the Litigation, Mediation and Arbitration of Foreign Commercial Disputes in Shanghai Courts (for Trial) (the ¡°Guidelines¡±).

At the press conference, Chen Meng, member of the leading Party group and Vice President of the SHPC, introduced the implementation background, overall goals, main content and innovation highlights of the Implementation Opinions, and answered questions from reporters with Pan Yunbo, Director of SHPC Commercial Tribunal. Cao Kerui, Deputy Director of SHPC Commercial Tribunal introduced the relevant situation of the Guidelines.

The press conference informed that the establishment of the Lingang New Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone was a major strategic plan for further opening up, made by the Party Central Committee under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.

On August 6, 2019, the State Council issued the ¡°Notice of Issuing the Framework Plan for the New Lingang Area of ​​China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone¡± (hereinafter referred to as the ¡°Framework Plan for the New Lingang Area¡±). On August 20, the Lingang New Area was officially unveiled. On August 30, the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee and the Shanghai Municipal Government issued the Opinions on Promoting the Implementation of Special Support Policies for the Quality Development of the Lingang New Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and the construction of the Lingang New Area officially started.

From September 1, 2019 to December 25, 2019, the Shanghai courts accepted a total of 2,487 cases involving the Lingang New Area, and concluded 2,104 cases. Among them, the number of cases involving intellectual property, finance, and foreign-related commercial disputes increased significantly, rising by 133%, 16.67%, and 11.76% respectively year-on-year. This indicates that after the establishment of the Lingang New Area, the activity of commercial transactions has increased rapidly, and the need for judicial settlement of commercial disputes has become increasingly prominent.

The press conference informed that the disputes in the Lingang New Area will show three development trends in the future.

First, the number of cases will increase. The Lingang New Area has an advanced start-up area of 119.5 square kilometers, which is equivalent to the area of the ¡°Old Area.¡± At the same time, according to the development plan, by 2035, the Lingang New Area¡¯s GDP will be on par with the current Pudong New Area. It is foreseeable that after the establishment of the Lingang New Area, related dispute cases will increase year by year.

Second, there will be new changes in the structure of case types. Due to the highly open institutional design of the Lingang New Area and the planning goals of building an open industrial system, the Lingang New Area has seen and will continue to see the emergence of a number of new industries, new formats and new trading models. In line with this, a large number of new types of disputes such as cross-border trade in goods, international investment, international shipping, offshore service trade, and offshore financial transactions will continue to emerge. Overall, the ¡°internationality¡± of cases involving the Lingang New Area will be more pronounced.

Finally, the particularity of the legal systems and rules involved in case trials will place new demands on justice. The Lingang New Area will implement a differentiated open policy and system with strong international market competitiveness. There will be a lot of disputes involving litigation that need to be resolved by international rules. In this regard, it will be significantly different from the trials of cases outside the Lingang New Area, bringing many new issues to the court¡¯s administration of justice.

The press conference notified that on December 27, 2019, the Supreme Court released the Opinions of the Supreme People¡¯s Court on the People¡¯s Court Providing Judicial Services and Guarantees for the Construction of the Lingang New Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. On December 30, the SHPC officially released the Implementation Opinions.

Chen Meng said that in the past year, in accordance with the central government¡¯s decision and deployment and the specific requirements of the Supreme Court and the Shanghai Municipal Committee, and by benchmarking the Lingang New Area against the most competitive free trade parks recognized internationally, the SHPC has carefully studied the new situation and new experience in the current field of international commercial justice, and gradually sorted out the working ideas for providing judicial services and guarantees for the construction of the Lingang New Area.

The press conference reported that the Implementation Opinions released this time proposed 21 initiatives in five aspects, i.e., raising ideological awareness, creating a world-class law-based business environment, strengthening the openness and inclusiveness of judicial policies, improving the judicial system and mechanisms, and enhancing the construction of talent teams, including ¡°three synergies¡± and ¡°one guarantee.¡±

The so-called ¡°three synergies¡± are the synergy with the Lingang New Area¡¯s establishing a special institutional system centered on investment and trade liberalization, the synergy with the construction of an open industrial system with international market competitiveness, and the synergy with the exploration of developing a comprehensive risk management system.

¡°One guarantee¡± is to build a world-class law-based business environment and provide a strong judicial system supply and judicial guarantee for the high-quality development of the Lingang New Area.

At today¡¯s press conference, Chen Meng emphasized five innovation highlights in the Implementation Opinions, that is, promoting the innovation and improvement of the international commercial trial system, strengthening the jurisdiction of Chinese courts in international commercial disputes, promoting the openness and inclusiveness of the judicial policies involving the Lingang New Area, deepening the reform of the international commercial litigation mechanism, and improving the convenience mechanism for international commercial litigation.

Speaking of the innovation highlight of ¡°strengthening the jurisdiction of Chinese courts in international commercial disputes,¡± Chen Meng pointed out that according to the Implementation Opinions released this time, the Shanghai courts will explore the acceptance of international commercial cases without connection points. For foreign parties who have no connection point with China¡¯s jurisdiction in the international commercial cases, which have been agreed to be under the jurisdiction of the Shanghai international commercial trial organization, the Shanghai international commercial trial organization may exercise jurisdiction However, it is necessary to abide by the provisions of China¡¯s laws or judicial interpretations on the subject matter jurisdiction of courts at different levels. This provision is conducive to strengthening the jurisdiction of Chinese courts in international commercial transactions such as offshore transactions and cross-border transactions related to the Lingang New Area, safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese and foreign companies in international commercial transactions in accordance with the law, and promoting Chinese enterprises to better prevent and resolve related legal risks.

Speaking of the innovation highlight of ¡°promoting the openness and inclusiveness of the judicial policies involving the Lingang New Area,¡± Chen Meng introduced that the Implementation Opinions also points out the specific practice path and proposes to strengthen communication with eligible international commercial mediation and arbitration agencies, so as to jointly build a ¡°one-stop¡± dispute resolution platform, and improve the multilateral settlement mechanism for international commercial disputes.

Cao Kerui gave an in-depth interpretation of the ¡°one-stop working mechanism for the litigation, mediation and arbitration of foreign commercial disputes.¡± He said that the goal of this mechanism is to give full play to the advantages of different dispute settlement methods such as litigation, mediation, arbitration, and guide the parties to choose appropriate channels to resolve foreign-related commercial disputes, and make smooth transition between litigation, mediation and arbitration procedures according to the actual situation of different disputes. It also provides guidance for parties to obtain legal services such as foreign law identification, foreign translation, and foreign notarization in a timely manner, and promotes the substantial settlement of foreign-related commercial disputes.

Chen Meng emphasized that the release of the Implementation Opinions is an important measure to: serve and ensure the implementation of the national strategy of deepening opening up, and accelerate the construction of a new open economy system; implement the Framework Plan for the New Lingang Area and establish a special system of investment and trade liberalization and facilitation in the Lingang New Area; ensure the high-quality development of the Lingang New Area, accelerate Shanghai¡¯s construction of the ¡°Five Centers,¡± and create a world-class business environment; and promote the professional construction of international commercial trials and enhance the institutional voice and influence of Chinese justice in the global system of commerce rules.

Implementation Opinions on the Shanghai Courts Providing Judicial Services and Guarantees for the Construction of the Lingang New Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.doc

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