Call for Papers: TDM special issue on China
12 April 2010
We hereby announce a forthcoming TDM special issue on China. This special issue will discuss all aspects of the theory and practice of the resolution of trade and commercial disputes in and connected with China.
China's rapid economic development continues unabated despite the recent global financial crisis. Much of this growth has been driven by inward foreign investment, although outbound investment by China in search of secure supplies of natural resources to feed its growing economy has also greatly increased in recent years. A natural consequence of all this economic activity has been a steady rise in the number of disputes between Chinese and foreign parties.
Arbitration is frequently preferred to litigation for the resolution of these disputes, for the usual reasons of neutrality, flexibility, confidentiality, costs and, most importantly, greater ease of cross-border enforcement. Investment treaty arbitration was until recently not considered a viable option because the bilateral investment treaties entered into by China offered negligible protections. However, recent BITs entered into by China offer a wide range of protections and so it should only be a matter of time before treaty arbitrations involving China and Chinese investors start to appear. In addition, recent cases such as the Rio Tinto bribery and commercial secrets case show that investors in China may be subject to, and therefore need to understand, the workings of the Chinese court system.
The more general question therefore arises of whether the Chinese legal system is developing in a way that is keeping pace with the demands of an increasingly sophisticated economy and society. This is a matter of concern not just to foreign investors but also more fundamentally to Chinese citizens themselves. This TDM special issue therefore aims to go beyond investment and trade treaty disputes involving China and to also look at Chinese regulatory and judicial attitudes towards foreign investment and dispute resolution more generally.
Possible topics might include:
- Whether arbitration at CIETAC or other Chinese arbitration institutions is a fair and viable dispute resolution option for foreign investors in China?
- What reforms will be necessary to make arbitration in China a more attractive option?
- Does treaty arbitration represent a real alternative for a multinational wanting to preserve its long-term interests in what should continue to be one of the world's most important markets for the foreseeable future?
- Enforcement of arbitral awards in China – does the system work and what is the enforcement record for foreign arbitration awards?
- Whether a formal binding system of precedent would be possible and beneficial for China?
- Developments in the quality and independence of China's judiciary.
- Whether trade and commercial disputes involving China may be effectively resolved through informal business mechanisms or other dispute resolution strategies apart from arbitration and litigation.
- How, if at all, might current methods of international dispute resolution be adjusted to account for social and business norms and expectations in China, in order to address international commercial disputes.
We hereby invite all those with an interest in this area to contribute articles or notes on one of the above topics or any other relevant issue. This special issue will be edited by Peter Thorp of Allen & Overy LLP, Beijing and Professor Tai-Heng Cheng, visiting associate professor at Vanderbilt Law School and Senior Legal Advisor to Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney LLP. Publication is expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Peter William Thorp
Allen & Overy LLP
peter [dot] thorp (at) beijing [dot] allenovery [dot] com
Professor Tai-Heng Cheng
Vanderbilt Law School, Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney LLP.
tai-heng [dot] cheng (at) Law [dot] Vanderbilt [dot] Edu
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