Foreign-related Commercial Trials of Jiangsu Courts
High People’s Court of Jiangsu Province
This paper is published in both Chinese and English. The Chinese version shall be authoritative for interpretation purposes.
With the deepening of reform and opening up and the promotion of the “Belt and Road” Construction and the construction of pilot free trade zones, foreign-related commercial trials have attracted increasing social attention and demand. Located in the intersection of the “Belt and Road”, Jiangsu Province boasts frequent cross-border investment and dynamic foreign trade. Moreover, its amount of foreign capital actually used has ranked the first in the country for many years, and its total import and export of goods has remained the second in the country for 16 consecutive years. China (Jiangsu) Pilot Free Trade Zone has also been completed. Correspondingly, courts of Jiangsu Province have also tried a large number of foreign-related commercial cases, as well as cases involving Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. In recent years, under the leadership of the provincialparty committee and the supervision of the National People’s Congress, under the guidance of the Supreme People’s Court and with the support of all walks of life, courts at all levels in Jiangsu Province have actively responded to new situations and new problems in the process of comprehensive opening up, implemented the best quality strategy of trial, gave full play to the function of foreign-related commercial trial, so as toguide and standardize investment and trade activities, equally protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese and foreign litigants, and make active efforts to create a legal, international and convenient business environment. All of these efforts have achieved new returns. To this end, we released this white paper on foreign-related commercial trials by courts of Jiangsu Province, showing the relevant work of courts of Jiangsu Province in serving and ensuring the new pattern of comprehensive opening up in Jiangsu, and making theoretical exploration and practical prospect for further promoting foreign-related commercial trials.
High People’s Court of Jiangsu Province
I. Basic Situation and Characteristics of Foreign-Related Commercial Trials by Courts of Jiangsu Province
(I) Basic situation of foreign-related commercial cases
1.The number of foreign-related commercial cases is generally balanced, showing a steady upward trend.
From 2014 to the end of October 2019, courts of Jiangsu Province haveaccepted a total of 7,548 foreign-related commercial cases of first instance (including 3,615 cases and 3,933 cases involving Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), 833 foreign-related commercial cases of second instance (including 481foreign-related cases and 352 cases involving Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), and the number of cases accepted rose steadily (see Chart 1).A total of 8,107 foreign-related commercial cases were concluded. In addition, from 2014 to the end of October 2019, courts of Jiangsu Province also handled 6,286 cases of judicial assistance (including 113 cases of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards, as well as judgments and arbitral awards of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan courts), tried 6,788 arbitration judicial review cases.
Chart 1 Foreign-related Commercial Cases Accepted byCourts of Jiangsu Province in Recent Six Years
The number of foreign-related commercial cases accepted by courts in various parts of Jiangsu is quite different, and the distribution is extremely uneven. Suzhou, Nanjing and Wuxi were among the top three in the number of cases accepted by the courts, accounting for 64.96% of the foreign-related commercial cases by courts of Jiangsu Province.The number of foreign-related commercial cases reflects how dynamicthe economic exchangesin a region are.For instance, Suzhou, as a model of Jiangsu’s export-oriented economy, is directly characterized by the large number of foreign-related commercial cases and the heavy task of foreign-related commercial trials.
Chart 2 Foreign-related Commercial Cases Accepted by Courts in Jiangsu in Recent Six Years
Foreign-related commercial cases accepted by courts of Jiangsu Province involve 210 specific causes of action, mainly including loan contracts, contract for international sale of goods, import and export agency contracts, equity transfer disputes, company dissolution disputes, letters of credit disputes, etc., covering cross-border trade, investment, finance and other fields.The diversification of dispute types reflects the continuous expansion of Jiangsu’s economic opening to the outside world, the continuous expansion of cross-border investment fields and the continuous increase in foreign trade and economic cooperation.In order to correctly try different types of foreign-related commercial cases, it is necessary not only to be familiar with the laws and regulations in relevant fields, but also to have a thorough understanding of the professional knowledge and trading practices of various industries, which all increase the trial difficulty. Although there are various types of foreign-related commercial cases, the causes are relatively concentrated.Disputes such as international sale of goods, financial loans, equity transfer and finance lease have always accounted for a large proportion of foreign-related commercial cases.
Chart 3 Major Types and Their Proportion of Foreign-related Commercial Cases byCourts of Jiangsu Province in Recent Six Years
In the past six years, courts of Jiangsu Province have accepted 4096 cases involving foreign litigants, accounting for 49.0% of the total number of cases involving foreign regions, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.The litigantsarefrom more than 100 countries and regions such as the United States, Britain, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, British Virgin Islands, and more than half of the cases involve traditional trading partners such as the United States, Britain and Singapore, which implies that the integration of Jiangsu and the world economy is deepening increasingly.The total number of commercial cases involving Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan accepted by courts of Jiangsu Province is 4,285, accounting for 51.0% of the total number of cases involving foreign regions, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.Courts of Jiangsu Province haveaccepted 2,181 commercial disputes involving Taiwan, accounting for 26% of the total number of commercial cases involving foreign regions, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.Jiangsu is one of the regions where Taiwanese businessmen invest the most in the mainland and Taiwan-funded enterprises are most concentrated.The exchanges and cooperation between Jiangsu and Taiwan in various fields continue to develop, with close economic and trade relationship as well as frequent investment and trade. Therefore, courts of Jiangsu Province havealso accepted a larger number ofTaiwan-related cases.
Chart 4 Countries and Regions Involved in Foreign-related Commercial Cases byCourts of Jiangsu Province in Recent Six Years
Blue: 1127 cases involving countries along the “Belt and Road” route
Red: 4285 cases involving Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan
Green: 2969 cases involving other countries
In the past six years, the amount of foreign-related commercial cases accepted by courts of Jiangsu Province has exceeded 80 billion yuan.From 2014 to the end of October 2019, the average amount of foreign-related commercial cases acceptedare 5,783,000 yuan, 7,647,300yuan, 10,513,800yuan, 8,283,100yuan, 10,623,200yuan and 14,487,000yuan respectively, revealing an obvious upward trend.The highest amount of case is 2.6 billion yuan, and the lowest amount is only tens of thousands yuan, showing a huge disparity between cases.The increase in the total amount of foreign-related commercial cases reflects, to a certain extent, the increase of cross-border investment and trade activities of Jiangsu and the increasing judicial demand for dispute resolution.
Chart 5 Average Amount of Foreign-related Commercial Cases byCourts of Jiangsu Province in Recent Six Years
In the past six years, the total number of foreign-related commercial cases decided by courts of Jiangsu Province in the first instance was 3,732, accounting for 49.45% of the total number of cases.The number ofmediated or cancelled cases was 3363, accounting for 44.56%.In the past six years, the rate of mediated or cancelled casesof first-instance foreign-related commercial cases has remained basically stable. The rate of obeying the trial without appeal of the foreign-related commercial trial in the first instance is 82.9%, the appeal rate is 11.04%, and the rate of retrial or judgment amendment in the second instance is 0.7%, with the quality of trial being generally good. Due to factors such as overseas delivery, the trial period is relatively long, with an average trial period of 257 days for foreign-related commercial cases in the past six years.
Chart 6 Rate of Mediated or Cancelled Foreign-related Commercial Cases byCourts of Jiangsu Province in Recent Six Years
Opening up characterizesthe development of Jiangsu.Foreign-related commercial cases by courts of Jiangsu Province also manifest some new features that are relatedto the high level of Jiangsu’s open economy.
1. The number of cases involving countries along the “Belt and Road” route has increased significantly
After the “Belt and Road” was put forward, Jiangsu, as the junction of the “Belt and Road”, has exchanged more and more frequently with countries along the route in personnel and trade, therefore followedby more and more commercial disputes.According to statistics, in the past six years, more than half of the foreign-related commercial cases tried by courts of Jiangsu Province involved countries along the “Belt and Road” route, while the total number of commercial cases involving countries along the “Belt and Road” route accounted for about 30% of the total number of foreign-related commercial cases (except those involving Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) tried by courts of Jiangsu Province.
2. New types of cases are constantly emerging
In the foreign-related commercial trials of courts of Jiangsu Province, new types of cases such as international syndicated loans, fraud in letter of credit, fraud in independent guarantee, finance lease, equity repurchase, and enterprise valuation adjustment agreements are on the increase, and the overall litigation amount is relatively high.This reflects from the side that with the implementation of high-level trade and investment liberalization and facilitation policies, the financial sector has become increasingly open and innovative.
3. The procedural problems in foreign-related commercial cases are outstanding
In general, foreign-related commercial cases present procedural problems such as difficulty in finding out the facts, application of foreign laws and service inforeign cases.The long trial period of foreign-related commercial cases is detrimental to timely and efficient resolution of disputes and safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of the litigants.
4. Foreign investment disputes are increasing
In 2016, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress revised the “Three Laws on Foreign Investment”and implemented a negative list management system reform on the foreign investment management system, greatly facilitating foreign investment.In recent years, cases involving disputes that anonymous shareholders of foreign-invested enterprises asking for registration, and equity transfer disputescontinue to emerge.In the past six years, courts of Jiangsu Province have tried 1,313 disputes involving foreign-invested enterprises.For such cases, courts in the whole province insist on combining entrusted investment agreement and the fact of capital flow, trying to find out the litigants’ true intention, protecting the investment rights and interests of both Chinese and foreign litigantsequally, and enhancing foreign investors’ confidence in business environment under rule of law in Jiangsu.
5. There are many disputes over letters of credit and independent guarantee
Enterprises in Jiangsu use letters of credit and independent guarantees as payment and financing tools in many fields such as import and export trade and undertaking overseas projects.In the past six years, courts of Jiangsu Province have accepted more than 50 new cases of first instance concerning disputes over foreign letters of credit and independent guarantees.Disputes over letters of credit and independent letter of guarantee contain a large number of subjects, are highly concerned by the society and the industry and are subject to International practices as well as banking and financial practices. Whether the people’s courts can correctly handle such disputes would exert influence on the overseas credit status of Chinese enterprises and financial institutions and the smooth progress of national strategies such as the “Belt and Road” Construction.
6. Disputes over “Going Global” of enterprises are increasing
In the past six years, courts of Jiangsu Province have accepted a total of 54 new cases of first instance concerning foreign construction contract disputes.Overseas infrastructure construction, as an important part of “Going Global” of Chinese enterprise, plays an important role in the “Belt and Road” Construction. However, due to the complicated geopolitical situation, different levels of economic development and great differences in legal environment in the countries where the projects are located, disputes over international construction projects are also increasing. Difficult issues in the international project casesexist in the fields of jurisdiction, validity of contracts, settlement of project funds, and ascertainment of foreign laws and so on, which make such cases hard to be dealt with.
7. Demand for international judicial assistance are increasing
With the advancement of the “Belt and Road” Construction, countries have strengthened international cooperation in the recognition and enforcement of court judgments and arbitral awards to realize the free enforcement of judgments and awards, which can reduce the litigation burden of the litigants, save judicial resources and maintain the stability of legal relations.However, the concept of international commercial arbitration in the countries along the “Belt and Road” route is complex and diverse, and their legal systemsare at different stages of development. These characteristics determine that there are great risks and uncertainties in international commercial litigation and arbitration in the process of promoting the “Belt and Road” Construction.
II. Achievementsin Foreign-Related Commercial Trials by Courts of Jiangsu Province
(I) Further implementation of best quality strategy, pay close attention to the first priority of law enforcement and handling cases
The best quality strategy is a systematic project put forward and implemented by the Supreme People’s Court in January 2010 to comprehensively enhance the judicial credibility of foreign-related commercial trials.Courts of Jiangsu Province fully understand the importance of the best quality strategy of foreign-related commercial trials and focus on law enforcement and case trailing to create high-quality cases.First, the quality and efficiency data of all trials have been stable.The rate of obeying the trial without appeal for the first instance was 82.9%, the rate of retrial or judgment amendment for the second instance was 0.7%, and the annual ratio of cases closed was above 90%.Second, courts of Jiangsu Province have tried a number of high-quality cases with great influence.Jiangsu Taihu Boiler Co., Ltd. and PT. KrakatauEngineering Corporationand the Wuxi Branch of Bank of China Limited,A Dispute over Fraud with a GuaranteeLetter and Kolmar Group AG, A Case of an Application for the Recognition and Enforcement of aCivil Judgment of the High Court of Singapore have been listed respectively in the first batch and second batchof Typical Cases Involving the “Belt and Road” Construction. The cover feature article of Documentary Credit Worldin the United Statesemphasized on the case of fraud with a guarantee letter between Far Ease Cable Co., Ltd., Qatar PLI and Wuxi Branch of Bank of China. Third, new progress has been achieved in international judicial cooperation.On the one hand, in recent years, a total of six judgments and rulings of courts of Jiangsu Province have been recognized and implemented in Australia, Israel, the United States, Singapore and other countries without judicial assistance treaties, which is the largest number in the courts across the country.On the other hand, courts of Jiangsu Province provide judicial assistance in accordance with the law, demonstrating the open and inclusive judicial attitude of the people’s courts.The Intermediate People’s Court of NanjingCity’s ruling of recognition and enforcement of the judgment of High Court of Singapore on the dispute over the sales contract between Kolmar Group AG and Jiangsu Textile Industry (Group) Import & Export Co., Ltd. is regarded as a milestone in the application of the principle of reciprocity by China’s courts. Courts of Jiangsu Province have also actively deepened interregional judicial assistance and enriched judicial practice under the background of “One Country, Two Systems”.On November 27, 2019, the Intermediate People’s Court of Lianyungang City successfully assisted the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center to complete property preservation in Lianyungang City according to the “Arrangement on Mutual Assistance and Preservation between Mainland and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Courts in Arbitration Procedures”.In December 2016, the Intermediate People’s Court of NanjingCity ruled to enforce the arbitration award made by the Hong Kong Arbitration Center of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, which is also the first time that an arbitration award made overseas by a domestic arbitration institution was enforced by a mainland court.
(II) Actively serve the overall situation,safeguard the implementation of major national strategies
Considering the location of Jiangsu, the intersection of the“Belt and Road”, courts of Jiangsu Province responded positively to the judicial needs of the “Belt and Road”construction and created a fair, transparent and predictable business environment under the rule of law.First, courts of Jiangsu Province have actively stepped up news publicity.The provincial court held a press conference on the construction of the service and safeguard for the “Belt and Road” to inform the main practices of courts of Jiangsu Province and to make ten typical cases pubic.Second, the investigation and study of foreign-related commercial disputes have been vigorously strengthened.In recent years, courts of Jiangsu Province have completed a number of key research projects of provincial societies and courts, including “Study on Legal Issues of Independent Guarantees” and “Study on Application of Laws to Stop Payment in Fraud in Letter of Credit”.In People’s Judicature, the article “Courts of JiangsuProvince Strives to Enhance the Judicial Credibility of Foreign-related Commercial Trials, Serving and Guaranteeing the Construction of the ‘Belt and Road’”was published, summarizing the practical exploration of Jiangsu Court’s service and safeguard of the “Belt and Road”construction, and summing up the judicial rule system.Third, relevant judicial opinions are released.Courts of Jiangsu Province at all levels have found the right combination and launched specific measures for service and safeguard.The provincial court issued the “Implementation Opinions on Elaborating High-quality Judicial Services and Safeguarding Jiangsu’s High-quality Development at the Front Line”, actively escorting the “Belt and Road” construction. The Intermediate People’s Court of LianyungangCity published “Twelve Opinions on the Construction of Pilot Zone in the Core Area of Escort the ‘Belt and Road’Junction”, which was selected by People’s Court Daily as one of the six typical measures of local court to serve and safeguard the “Belt and Road” construction.The Intermediate People’s Court of LianyungangCity has set up the country’s first the “Belt and Road” circuit court, and has signed a “Framework Agreement on Judicial Cooperation in Service Guarantee for Service and Safeguard of the Construction of New Asia-Europe Land and Sea Transport Corridor” with the intermediate people’s courts and maritime courts of21 prefecture-level cities along the “Belt and Road” in and outside Jiangsu Province, including Nanjing and Suzhou.
(III) Innovate the judicial mechanism, enhance the judicial credibility of foreign-related commercial trials
Courts of Jiangsu Province have strengthened the modernization of foreign-related commercial judicial capacity in combination with the actual work of foreign-related commercial trials.First, ways to ascertain foreign laws have been expanded actively.The provincial court has set up an expert database for ascertaining foreign laws for courts of Jiangsu Province and invited more than 30 domestic and foreign legal experts to serve as foreign law experts to help the people’s courts ascertain and apply foreign laws.It has also formulated the “Measures for the Administration of Experts Database for Ascertaining Foreign Laws (Trial)” to regulate the selection and deploy of foreign law identification experts.Second, a diversified dispute resolution mechanism has been studied and established.In order to better promote the construction of service demonstration area for transfer and agglomeration of Taiwan-funded enterprise industry in Huaian City and strengthen construction of cross-strait industrial cooperation pilot area, courts in HuaianCity and Kunshan Cityhave improved the trial mechanism to provide high-quality and efficient judicial service guarantee for Taiwan compatriots.In 2018, Huaian Intermediate People’s Court and the HuaianMunicipal Taiwan Affairs Office jointly formulated and issued the “Implementation Opinions on Strengthening the Transfer of Appeals and Mediation in Disputes Relating to Taiwan” and set up the Transferring Office of Appeals and Mediation to form an overall cooperation force.The People’s Court of Kunshan City, the local Taiwan Affairs Office and the Taiwan Association jointly signed the “Opinions on Strengthening Mediation of Taiwan-related Cases” and selected 30 specially invited mediators to participate in resolving disputes involving Taiwan businessmen.The rate of mediation or cancellation of cases involvingTaiwan in the People’s Court of Kunshan City remained above 60% every year, far exceeding the rate of cases mediated or cancelled of general foreign-related commercial cases. Third, the judicial assistance mechanism has been further improved.The provincial court has centralized judicial assistance to the No. 4 Civil Courtroom, and has appointed a special person to be responsible for it. it has strictly standardized the procedures for handling judicial assistance, explored the establishment of a foreign language translation format text library for documents to be served, determined the reserved court session time with big data, compressed the service period, improved the service efficiency, ensured that all links can be traced back, and improved the success rate of judicial assistance.
(IV) Support arbitration in accordance with the law, establish a centralized hearing mechanism for arbitration judicial review cases
In February 2015, courts of Jiangsu Province began to explore the establishment of a centralized hearing mechanism for arbitration judicial review cases, collectively centralizing arbitration judicial review cases to foreign-related commercial courts, optimizing the allocation of trial resources and unifying judicial standards.Centralized hearing mechanism for arbitration judicial review cases of courts of Jiangsu Province contains the following characteristics: First, the most complete centralized hearing mechanism has been established.Courts of Jiangsu Province will centralize all cases of confirming the validity of arbitration agreements, applications for annulment of arbitration awards, objections to non-enforcement of arbitration awards, jurisdictional objections involving arbitration agreements, and cases of recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration awards to foreign-related commercial courts. Second, the trial procedure of arbitration judicial review cases has been standardized.Review according to the first instance procedure, serve a copy of application to the litigants, and organize the litigantsto conduct a hearing of witnesses, etc. Third, the examination standards have been strictly followed.Firmly establish the judicial concept of paying equal attention to support and supervision, and earnestly safeguard the finality of the arbitration award.In recent years, nearly half of the cases reported by the intermediate courts that is planned to be rejected, whose arbitration award to be revoked and whose arbitration agreement to be confirmed invalid have not been approved by the provincial court.
(V) Strengthen the team building,reinforce the talents pool of foreign-related commercial and maritime trial
Courts of Jiangsu Province attaches great importance to the professional construction of foreign-related commercial judges and take various measures to improve their comprehensive qualities.Frist, the construction of specialized judicial institutions has been fortified.At the beginning of 2019, the provincial court established the No. 4 Civil Courtroom, which is responsible for foreign-related commercial trials, judicial review of arbitration, international judicial assistance, etc.Intermediate people’s courts in 13 cities across the province have set up special courts to hear foreign-related commercial cases, and 11 basic courts with jurisdiction over foreign-related commercial cases have also set up special collegial panels respectively.Second, professional training has been strengthened.In view of the more frequent exchange of judges in the process of judicial reform, courts of Jiangsu Province have consolidated and improved the professional level of foreign-related commercial trial teams by means of case evaluation, forum between higher and lower courts and special training.The provincial court also assigned experienced judges with solid theoretical knowledge to the intermediate court to teach foreign-related commercial trial practice, so that the judges newly joining in the foreign-related commercial trial team can become familiar with the business as soon as possible.Third, the talent selection and training mechanism has been innovated.In 2019, in order to build Nanjing Maritime Court at a high level, the provincial court selected 24 excellent judges and judge assistants from The provincial court to go to the brother maritime court for case-following study, and also selected judges and judge assistants from the maritime courts across the country, the provincial court and maritime administrative organs to reserve maritime trial talents for courts of Jiangsu Province.
III. New Situations Faced byCourts of Jiangsu Provincein Foreign-Related Commercial Trials
(I) The high-quality development of an open economy puts forward new requirements for foreign-related commercial trials
General Secretary Xi Jinping has given Jiangsu the positioning of the “Belt and Road” intersection.Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China made it clear that we must seize and take advantage of the great opportunity of the construction of the “Belt and Road” junction, promote the Jiangsu’s superposition and integration of national strategies such as the “Belt and Road” construction, the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the regional integration of the Yangtze River Delta, integrating deeper into the global economic cycle, and accelerating the cultivation of new advantages in opening up to the outside world.In September this year, China (Jiangsu) Pilot Free Trade Zone was formally established.Lou Qinjian,Secretary of Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, pointed out that it is both an important guarantee and a necessary procedure to push forward Jiangsu’s exploratory capacity, innovative capacity and leading development in the new historical position and to lead the country in the construction of the rule of law.The rule of law shall be actually made an important symbol of Jiangsu’s development of core competitiveness.This requires courts of Jiangsu Province to find a starting point for their work, respond effectively to the new requirements of market innovation and development in the free trade zone, give full play to the role of judicial guarantee and guidance, ensure the effective implementation of the rules, and consolidate the achievements of reform.They should establish the judicial concept of a great country, clarify the rules of adjudication, properly resolve disputes in accordance with the law, and equally protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese and foreign litigants.
(II) Deepening reform and opening up in an all-round way pose new challenges to foreign-related commercial trials
As China implements a high-level trade and investment liberalization and facilitation policy, continues to relax market access and upgrade the level of investment liberalization, andgraduallyimplements various reform measures, new situations and new problems will continue to emerge.For example, the negative list management system for foreign investment has changed the examination and approval system to the filing system for the establishment, equity transfer and dissolution of foreign-funded enterprises, thus improving the convenience of foreign investment. The Foreign Investment Law will also replace the “Three Laws on Foreign Investment”.The people’s court has to timely adjust the legal basis, coordinate the connection between the law and the original judicial interpretation, and coordinate the judicial review and administrative supervision of the transactions involved in the case when trying cases such as confirmation of shareholder identity and equity transfer contracts.
(III) New industries, new formats and new models have put forward new topics for foreign-related commercial trials
New industries, new formats and new models, based on advanced manufacturing, Internet plus, innovation and entrepreneurship, cross-border comprehensive management and other “Three New” activities, are developing rapidly in China. While providing convenience and optimizing the allocation of resources, they also bring problems such as disorderly competition and credit moral risks.For instance, arbitration of P2P Internet is an innovation in arbitration in internet plus. In practice, Internet plus brings about problems such as harming the rights and interests of ordinary consumers, taking lending as a business without a license, charging ultra-high interest in disguised form, and even some cases being suspected of “trap loan”, whichnot only have damaged the healthy development of arbitration, but also damaged the judicial credibility of the people’s court.
(IV) The opening of Nanjing Maritime Court opens new fields for foreign-related commercial trials
Nanjing Maritime Court will begin to perform its statutory duties on December 4, 2019.Maritime trial is a brand-new field for courts of Jiangsu Province.The maritime courts are at the forefront when opening up to the outside world. They are related to the vital interests of the masses, the marine rights and interests of the country and the high level of opening up to the outside world.Maritime trials are characterized by various foreign-related factors, strong professionalism, complicated legal relations, diversified application of laws, and great international influence. In particular, many cases require the application of international treaties and rules, which puts forward higher requirements on the quality and ability of maritime judges.Jiangsu is a major province of marine and shipping. There are a large number of maritime cases with diversified types of cases in Jiangsu Province. Difficult and complicated cases will emerge continuously.
IV. Outlook ofForeign-Related Commercial Trials by Courts of Jiangsu Province
Facing the new situation, the foreign-related commercial trial team of courts of Jiangsu Province must firmly establish the overall situation awareness, strengthen the mission responsibility, give full play to the trial function with a high sense of responsibility and mission, comprehensively deepen the best quality strategy of trial, and provide a solid legal guarantee for the implementation of the national major strategy and Jiangsu’s high-quality development in the forefront of the country.
(I) Improve the political stance, strengthen the sense of mission and responsibility
China is now in an important period of promoting the reform and opening up in the new era. The open economy is developing in depth and the rule of law is advancing in an all-round way. Foreign-related commercial trial of the people’s court shall apply international treaties and international practices, equally protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese and foreign litigants, and create an international first-class business environment.At present, the international economic and political structure has been profoundly adjusted, and foreign-related commercial trials also shoulder special functions of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests.To create a fair and just legal environment depends on the people’s court hearing cross-border disputes in infrastructure construction, economic and trade exchanges, industrial investment, cargo transportation and other fields in a fair and efficient manner, providing high-quality foreign-related commercial trial to serve and safeguard the high quality of reform and opening up.
(II) Comprehensively deepen the best quality strategy of trial, improve the quality and efficiency of foreign-related commercial trials
First, the judicial responsibility system shall be comprehensively implemented and the quality and efficiency of trials shall be intensified. Take the trial as the center, complete the pretrial preparation and improve the quality of trials. Standardize the management of the trial process, adopt measures such as urging and supervision of implementation of pending cases, and strengthen the internal trial management of the court. Second, strengthen trial supervision and guidance, and unify judgment standards. Improve the working mechanism of communication between lower and higher courts, and adhere to the reporting system for important information and major cases. Implement communication, exchange and other systems for retrial and return of retrial cases and unify judgment standards. Carry out case quality review, and strengthen trial business guidance through centralized feedback from forums and issuing review reports. Third, focus on creating excellent cases and practically exerting the international influence of major cases. The judicial credibility of the people's courts must be established through specific cases. Special attention should be given to the hearing of foreign-related commercial cases involving the application of international treaty conventions, confirmation of new commercial rules, legal or policy adjustments, market innovation, and of great social and industry influence, and to make excellent judgments that lead international commercial rules and have great influence on significant legal issues.
(III) Strengthen investigation and study, take the initiative to serve the overall situation
First, make good use of thethinkingof government by law to actively judge the overall situation, and serve and safeguard a new pattern of comprehensive opening up.Find out the connection point between the new pattern of all-round opening and foreign-related commercial trials, carry out investigations around the construction of the “Belt and Road” junction, the legal protection of Jiangsu Free Trade Zone, the prevention of legal risks for “going global”enterprises, and the creation of an international first-class business environment, and propose judicial services and safeguard measures according to local conditions. Second, pay close attention to the impact of relevant reforms on foreign-related commercial trials and adjust the judgment thinking in a timely manner.Pay close attention to the impact of the reform of the national examination and approval system for foreign investment on the way of dealing with disputes in foreign-invested enterprises andthe impact of the reform of the foreign exchange management system and the opening of the financial industry on the thinking of determining the validity of contracts such as cross-border financing and financial derivative transactions;study the disputes arising from international capital actions such as valuation adjustment mechanism and agreement control.Third, focus on summarizing and innovating business research and actively promote the transformation of research results.Actively carry out special research around the common problems, hot issues and difficult issues concerning the application of laws in trials, and convert the excellent research results into guidance opinions, meeting minutes and other documents when the conditions are ripe so as to provide reference for perfecting laws and regulations, party committees and governments to make decisions while improving the level of foreign-related commercial trial work of the people’s court.
(IV) Promote diversified dispute resolution, promote the construction of dispute resolution mechanism
Actively promote establishment of the diversified dispute resolution organically involving mediation, arbitration, litigation organic convergence of multiple dispute resolution mechanism, provide fair, convenient, low cost dispute resolution services so as to meet the diverse needs of Chinese and foreign litigants to resolve disputes.First, further speed up the construction of cooperation mechanisms among administrative departments, arbitration agencies and other relevant units to broaden the channels for foreign-related disputes. Second, actively strengthen cooperationamongtrade associations, professional mediation organizations and other institutions, and integrate social forces to actively participate in a diversified dispute resolution mechanism of consultation, co-construction and sharing.
(V) Strengthen the construction of foreign-related commercial maritime trial team, and constantly improve the level of specialization
Foreign-related judicial talents are the core in competition of foreign-related judicial system.Facing the new challenges in foreign-related commercial trials, we should put political and ideological construction in the first place, adhere to the “four consciousnesses” and ensure that foreign-related commercial trials always follow the correct political direction.Strengthen the construction of a clean and honest Party working style and anti-corruption work, and effectively improve the judicial style to ensure the integrity of foreign-related commercial trial team.Strengthen education in ideals, beliefs and professional ethics and firmly establish a sense of professional honor.Improve the standardization, specialization and professionalism of foreign-related commercial trial teams, efforts should be made to train a group of expert trial talents with rich trial experience.In particular, efforts should be made to forge a group of compound maritime judicial personnel who understand laws, foreign languages, marine, trade and shipping.Intensify the training of high-level personnel, train a group of high-quality maritime judges who can stand at the forefront of international maritime justice theory and practice and meet the needs of international competition, serving as a solid talent guarantee for the innovative development of maritime trials.
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