The growth in cross-border commercial and investment activity in the Asia Pacific, particularly with the rising economy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), has resulted in a corresponding growth in cross-border disputes in the region.

亚太地区跨境商业和投资活动的增长,特别是中国经济的蓬勃发展,导致亚太地区跨境争议案件的增加。

This has been reflected in a survey by Queen Mary University of London in 2015[1]which found that the most improved arbitral seat over the past five years was Singapore, followed by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region(”Hong Kong SAR”). Both jurisdictions were also ranked in the top five most preferred and widely used seats globally, alongside London, Paris and Geneva.

2015年伦敦玛丽皇后大学的一项调查也反映了这样的观点[2]。该调查发现,过去五年来,进步最快的仲裁地是新加波,其次是香港特别行政区(香港)。这两个法域与伦敦、巴黎和日内瓦构成了全球最受欢迎和最广泛使用的仲裁地的前五位。

This trend is set to continue in 2018, in view of regional developments that are likely to bolster the role of Asia Pacific jurisdictions as a forum for cross-border dispute resolution. We explore this and some of the other key trends and developments in Asia Pacific cross-border disputes below.

区域发展会使亚太区法域在跨境争端解决中扮演更重要的角色,这一趋势将在2018年持续。我们在下文探讨这一趋势和一些有关亚太地区跨境争议的其他主要趋势和发展。

Belt and Road Initiative

一带一路

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has seen some USD1 trillion committed towards linking countries along the BRI routes with China.[3] The PRC’s investment in the BRI is projected to grow in the coming years, particularly in view of the continued emphasis by the PRC leadership on the initiative. In this context, international arbitration is well-suited to play a significant role as a mechanism to resolve cross-border disputes arising from the BRI projects.

在“一带一路”倡议下,大约已有1万亿美元承诺用于连接中国和“一带一路”沿线国家[4]。考虑到中国领导层对“一带一路”倡议持续重视的态度,预计在未来几年中国企业在该倡议下的对外投资将会有所增长。在此背景下,国际仲裁作为非常适合解决“一带一路”项目引起的跨境纠纷的机制,将发挥重要的作用。

One of the key benefits of arbitrating BRI disputes is the ability to enforce foreign arbitral awards in the PRC and other countries under the New York Convention. This allows PRC parties to protect their rights by enforcing arbitral awards overseas and for other investors to enforce foreign arbitral awards in the PRC. Since ratifying the New York Convention in 1987, the PRC courts have increasingly demonstrated a pro-enforcement stance. Most recently, this can be seen in the series of judicial interpretations issued in late 2017 by the Supreme People’s Court providing more detailed guidance on the enforcement laws.[5]

将“一带一路”项目产生的纠纷提交仲裁的主要好处之一体现在无论中国企业还是境外的签约主体,都不用担心仲裁裁决的承认和执行。中国企业可以根据纽约公约在外国承认和执行仲裁裁决保护自己的权益,对仲裁裁决在中国执行的能力外国签约主体也有信心。自中国加入《承认及执行外国仲裁裁决公约》(纽约公约)以来,中国法院越来越表现出支持仲裁裁决执行的立场,这可以从最近最高人民法院在2017年年底发布的一系列司法解释中得以印证,这一系列的司法解释为外国仲裁裁决在中国的执行提供更为详细的指导[6]。

A key point addressed by one of the recent judicial interpretations includes the reaffirmation of the three-tier reporting system for foreign arbitral awards. The system provides that where foreign arbitral awards are not recognized or enforced by a PRC court, the decision is to be reviewed by three tiers of courts in the PRC. This ensures a high level of judicial scrutiny for enforcement proceedings in relation to foreign arbitral awards. The new legal interpretations also provide answers to some commonly asked questions such as those relating to jurisdictional challenges during the recognition and enforcement process .

其中一个近期的司法解释重申有关执行外国仲裁裁决的三级报核制度。该制度规定,如果外国仲裁裁决不被中国法院承认/承认和执行,此等民事裁定要通过中国三级法院的审查,确保外国仲裁裁决的承认执行的司法审查高度。新颁布的司法解释也为以往不清晰的法律问题提供解答,例如关于在承认和执行外国仲裁裁决程序中管辖权异议等问题。

Third party funding

第三方资助

The past year has seen notable developments in the Asia Pacific region in relation to the regulation of third party funding in international arbitration.

过去一年,亚太地区在监管国际仲裁第三方资助方面取得了显著的进展。

In 2017, both Hong Kong SAR and Singapore passed legislation allowing for and regulating arbitration funding by third parties. Such funding was previously prohibited in both jurisdictions.

在2017年,香港和新加波通过立法允许和规范仲裁的第三方资助,而这种资助曾被这两个法域所禁止。

This trend towards regulating third party funding in international arbitration has two key benefits: (1) making jurisdictions more arbitration-friendly; and (2) mitigating the risks inherent in third party funding, such as the potential for conflicts of interest, uncertainty about costs and security for costs, and questions about privilege. An example of the latter can be seen in Hong Kong SAR and Singapore where both have moved towards transparency, making it mandatory to disclose the existence of there being a third party funding arrangement and the identity of that third party.

这种规范国际仲裁中的第三方资助的趋势有两个关键性的好处:(1)使这些法域更加易于仲裁(2) 减轻第三方资助固有的风险,例如潜在的利益冲突、费用的不确定性、费用担保和有关特权的问题。关于后者的例子可以在香港和新加波看到,仲裁的第三方资助在这两个法域已经转向透明,强制要求披露是否存在第三方资助的安排以及第三方的身份。

However, certain concerns may also arise if governments in the Asia Pacific increasingly seek to follow the lead of Hong Kong SAR and Singapore in regulating third party funding of international arbitration at a national level. This includes the potential emergence of diverging sets of national laws with varying degrees of regulation, which could lead to increased forum-shopping in the region by potential claimants seeking to take advantage by commencing international arbitration in jurisdictions with favourable (or perhaps non-existent) regulations in third party funding in international arbitration. Further, given the rigid nature of national legislative regimes, rules surrounding third party funding may lack the flexibility to avoid becoming outdated or inconsistent with future international standards.

然而,如果越来越多的亚太地区的政府追随香港和新加波的脚步在国家层面管理国际仲裁的第三方资助,其后果包括可能会出现一系列有着不同监管程度的国家法律,这将可能导致在该区域内择地仲裁的情况增加。潜在的申请人可能通过选择在那些对国际仲裁的第三方资助持肯定态度的仲裁地(或者无相关规定的仲裁地)进行国际仲裁来实现己方利益。除此之外,考虑到国家立法的严格特征,第三方资助的相关规则可能缺乏灵活性,难以避免地落后于时代,无法与未来的国际标准保持一致。

It is worth noting that while there has also been third party funding by private funds or venture capitalist funds in the PRC , usually working together with law firms, there is currently no PRC legislation in this regard.

值得注意的是,中国目前也有私募基金或风投与律师事务所合作从事第三方资助,但目前来说,立法层面仍然缺失。

At the forthcoming International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) congress to be held in Sydney in April 2018, the ICCA-Queen Mary Taskforce will deliver its long-awaited final report on third party funding in international arbitration at the ICCA congress.[7] It is expected that the Taskforce will provide some guidance on third party funding regulation for the Asia Pacific region and globally.

在即将于2018年4月在悉尼举行的ICCA会议上,玛丽女王ICCA专题组将在大会上发布大家期待已久的国际仲裁第三方资助的最终报告[8],我们预计专题组将为亚太地区乃至全球的第三方资助的监管提供一些指引。

Corruption and ethics

腐败和道德

Another area that has been increasingly the subject of discourse in recent years is corruption and ethical conduct issues for both arbitrators and counsel. Whereas there have been initiatives and provisions adopted by arbitral institutions to regulate misconduct on the part of counsel and arbitrators, there appears to be an emerging consensus to create a transnational set of ethical standards in international arbitration.

近年来,其他广泛热议的领域还包括仲裁员和律师腐败和行为操守的问题。鉴于一些仲裁机构已采纳了规制律师和仲裁员不当行为的提议和相关规则,创建一套跨国家的国际仲裁职业道德标准正在成为一种共识。

Two well-known ethical guidelines for counsel have been adopted over the last few years: the International Bar Association (IBA) Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration (2013) and the LCIA’s General Guidelines for the Parties’ Legal Representatives (2014). The LCIA Guidelines are binding on LCIA arbitrations, whereas the IBA Guidelines only apply where the parties or tribunal agree for it to apply.

在过去的几年里,两部著名的律师道德准则已经被采纳:国际律师协会(IBA)《国际仲裁当事人代理人指引》(2013)以及伦敦国际仲裁院(LCIA)的《双方法律代表人通用指南》(2014)。伦敦国际仲裁院的指引对伦敦国际仲裁院的仲裁具有普遍约束力,而国际律师协会的指引只能在当事人或仲裁庭同意的情况下适用。

However, the IBA Guidelines continue to form part of the “soft law” applicable to arbitrations worldwide and contribute to the creation of a uniform set of rules for counsel in arbitrations. Indeed, the IBA Guidelines have been recently endorsed by the ICC Court, as well as other arbitral institutions.

尽管如此,国际律师协会的指南仍继续构成世界范围内仲裁中可适用的“软法”的一部分,有助于促成一套统一的律师参与仲裁工作规则的产生。事实上,国际律师协会的指南在最近已被国际商会仲裁院以及其他仲裁机构所采纳。

Many of the leading international arbitral institutions have also established codes of conduct for arbitrators to increase transparency and legitimacy of arbitration, with a primary focus on issues of impartiality and independence. Consistent with the trend of emerging transnational standards, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is currently preparing a code of ethics for arbitrators.

出于对仲裁公正性及独立性的关注,许多主要的国际仲裁机构也已经出台了仲裁员行为规范来提高仲裁的透明性和合法性。与建立跨国标准的趋势相一致,联合国国际贸易法委员会(UNCITRAL)目前正在起草一部关于仲裁员的道德规范。

It will be interesting to see, over the course of 2018 and beyond, the initiatives taken towards the consolidation of a transnational binding set of ethical rules for arbitrators and counsel, and most importantly whether further developments will arise in relation to the creation of a global ethical body responsible for the enforcement of ethical rules.

在2018年以及往后,能否建立具有普遍约束力的跨国家的仲裁员及律师道德准则, 以及更重要的,能否产生全球范围内执行这样的仲裁道德准则的机构,我们拭目以待。