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Chinese judges to get better guidance on external disputes

By CAO YIN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-27 14:18

A judicial interpretation on the issue of finding foreign law is expected to be released in the near future to help Chinese judges efficiently solve disputes involving foreign parties, China's top court said on Wednesday.

With more cooperation between China and countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, China has seen a rapid growth in cross-border business exchanges, as well as an increase in related commercial disputes, the Supreme People's Court said.

The court highlighted the importance of accurately ascertaining foreign laws in the handling of such commercial cases. Formulating a judicial interpretation on such matters shows respect for litigants, both from China and abroad, which will also help to strongly protect international transactions.

Formulating the interpretation was not an easy job, as the countries involved in the BRI have different legal systems. A lot of time and energy was spent researching methods and procedures on the finding of foreign laws, it said.

Thanks to the in-depth studies, the judicial interpretation has been approved by the Supreme People's Court's judicial committee, and is ready to be issued, it added.

Twelve BRI-related cases handled by Chinese courts were disclosed by the top court on Wednesday. The disclosures aim to show the country's judicial efforts to serve high-quality development and advance the coordinated approach to promote the rule of law at home, and in matters involving foreign affairs.

Over the past five years, China has stepped up efforts to build up its legal system to help solve foreign-related commercial disputes to help facilitate the BRI, which was first put forward by the central leadership in 2013.

In June 2018, after the central leadership approved a guideline on establishing the Belt and Road International Commercial Dispute Resolution Mechanism and Institution, the top court opened its first international commercial court in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and the second in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. A short time later, it also set up an expert committee to serve as its dispute resolution think tank.

So far, the two international commercial courts have heard 27 disputes, with litigants coming from various countries, such as the United States, Thailand, the Philippines and Italy, the top court said, adding that its committee has had 61 experts from 24 nations.

To solve the rising number of foreign-related cases, international commercial tribunals have also been established in more cities across China, including Beijing, Suzhou, Jiangsu province, Qingdao, Shandong province, and Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, which have witnessed strong development of foreign trade, it said.

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