A “one-stop” international business dispute resolution mechanism (the “Mechanism”) was developed by the Supreme People’s Court in 2018. The Mechanism, in essence, enables parties to submit their business problems to the China International business Court (the “CICC”), which may mediate, arbitrate, and litigate disputes. As a result, the CICC is referred to as a “multi-door courthouse,”1 providing a variety of services for conflict resolution. Building on this, more recently, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”) and an additional set of arbitral institutions in Mainland China were added to the Mechanism’s application, according to a notification released by the Supreme Peoples’ Court on July 22, 2022.
Remember that the Mechanism seeks to supplement the Belt and Road Initiative’s legal framework by giving parties practical choices for resolving conflicts. It seeks to accommodate the diversity of laws and legal traditions found in a number of potentially relevant countries. The CICC was launched shortly after the Mechanism was established in order to support the “one-stop” approach (see also The China International Commercial Court). The Mediation Center of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the Shanghai Commercial Mediation Center, the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, and the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration, to name a few, are just a few of the organizations with which the CICC quickly sought to collaborate in the field of mediation and arbitration. The connections that have been made are meant to open up access to legal aid in Mainland China.
The Hainan International Arbitration Court, the Guangzhou Arbitration Commission, the Shanghai Arbitration Commission, the Xiamen Arbitration Commission, and, as previously indicated, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”) are now included in the Mechanism. This would increase access to temporary relief and enforcement in Mainland China for parties engaged in disputes relating to the Belt and Road Initiative. Another interesting fact is that the HKIAC is the first arbitral body outside of Mainland China to be a part of the Mechanism. Parties to matters handled by the HKIAC may apply to the CICC for interim relief and/or the execution of arbitral rulings directly if the amount in controversy exceeds RMB 300 million or the case is of extraordinary importance.