Singapore, China Jointly Write Mediation Rules for Belt and Road Arbitration Courts
Singapore’s International Mediation Centre (SIMC) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) are to jointly develop the rules and procedures for disputes related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative projects. This partially alleviates concerns disputes would be held exclusively under wholly Chinese laws.
This joint development has been agreed through a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with between the Singapore International Mediation Centre and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (“CCPIT”). Signed off on January 24th this year, the SIMC and CCPIT will jointly develop the rules, case management protocol, and enforcement procedures for disputes submitted to mediation and establish a panel of mediators to resolve disputes arising out of China’s Belt and Road Initiative projects.
These projects, which by their nature are often high-value and multi-jurisdictional, create a demand for effective dispute resolution processes that address the expectations of all parties involved. The MOU between the SIMC and CCPIT provides for the joint development of rules, case management protocol, and enforcement procedures for BRI disputes submitted to mediation.
The panel of mediators to be established under the MoU will comprise experienced mediation professionals from China, Singapore ,and other Belt and Road jurisdictions, presumably from the affected countries themselves. According to the SIMC, these professionals are selected in accordance with global best practices in mediation, and will also participate in a skills exchange program to familiarize themselves with the business and dispute resolution culture of the BRI jurisdictions.
The MOU, which aims to make available a robust process for mediation conducted by mediators who are attuned to the dispute resolution culture of the BRI jurisdictions, will incentivize the use of mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism for disputes arising out of BRI projects.
Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates comments, “China is trying to be fair in its handling on Belt and Road investments and has been wise to involve proven external counsel. This MoU also ushers in the possibility of legal training services in Singapore and along the Belt and Road as participating arbitrators will need to be up to speed with international practice. The law faculties of Universities along the Belt & Road may wish to design courses to faciliate with this new demand. Dezan Shira & Associates can assist if required.”
Silk Road Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the practice Chairman. The firm has 26 years of China operations with offices throughout China, Asia and Europe. Please refer to our Belt & Road desk or visit our website at www.dezshira.com for further information.