More legal talent to aid in BRI cases

(China Daily)Updated : 2020-12-18

Top court appoints 24 foreign experts to commercial specialists committee

China's top court recently appointed 24 new specialists to its International Commercial Expert Committee - mainly people with legal backgrounds in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative - to help promote the initiative and solve related disputes.

The new committee members, appointed on Dec 8, come from nations including Singapore, Kazakhstan, Egypt and Nigeria.

"Many focus on international laws and laws in countries taking part in our initiative," said Wang Shumei, chief judge of the Supreme People's Court's No 4 Civil Division, which specializes in overseas commercial cases.

She said she was confident the new members will play a big role in helping solve initiative-related disputes, "because the first batch of experts appointed in 2018 has contributed a lot in handling international commercial disputes, such as providing opinions on the ascertainment of foreign laws and offering advice on legal issues".

The committee now has 55 experts from 25 countries, covering international legal fields such as trading, commercial arbitration and mediation, and maritime law, Wang said.

"Our committee is becoming more diversified and professional, meaning our international commercial dispute resolutions are becoming more open and our legal services for litigants are stronger," she said.

The committee's work as a think tank will be further improved, Wang said, adding that information exchanges on international commercial issues among the members need to be intensified.

Highlighting the significance of the committee in serving China's two international commercial courts, she said,"It should become a key bridge in alleviating international commercial disputes and coordinating international commercial laws."

The two international commercial courts were set up in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and Xi'an, Shaanxi province, in June 2018.

They have heard 18 international commercial disputes, mainly covering shareholder identification, fraud in letters of credit and damage to the interests of companies, from countries such as the United States, Italy, Japan and Thailand, Wang said.

"How to solve disputes - through mediation, arbitration or litigation - depends on litigants, and we'll fully respect their decision," she said, adding that integrating the three forms of resolution into one platform was an innovative approach to settling international commercial disputes.

"We're also planning to invite influential or popular international commercial mediation and arbitration institutes to join us," Wang said.