A new breakthrough was made in the institutional innovation of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (“FTZ”) by the issuance of the Arbitration Rules for the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. These are the first FTZ arbitration rules[ever??] issued..

The Arbitration Rules for the FTZ consist of 10 chapters and 85 articles, including several advanced international business arbitration rules that have been adapted and improved. For example, the Rules feature improved temporary measures and add an emergency arbitration court. They allow disputants to either choose arbitrators from a list provided by the commission or to hire their own (selection is no longer limited to names appearing on the roster of an arbitration institution). The rules also refine the joinder and third-party complaint systems and further improve the hybrid mediation/arbitration system by establishing a mediation process prior to arbitration. They also further strengthen the rules of evidence and add a small claims system with lower arbitration fees.

The Rules will come into effect on May 1, 2014.