I was very honored to be able to participate in a workshop held on 4 December by the International Law Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) to discuss some of the complex issues involved in implementing the United Nations (UN) Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (Singapore Mediation Convention or Convention) in China. It was linked to the previous workshop held in March, described in this earlier blogpost. This time the workshop included participants from the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), National People’s Congress (NPC), China Council for the Promotion of Foreign Trade (CCPIT), as well as some other academics and professionals. The workshop could not have taken place if not for the efficient work of Professor Liu Jingdong and assistant research fellow Sun Nanxiang. As I mentioned in the previous blogpost, I had gotten to know Mr. Wen Xiantao, of the Department of Treaties and Law of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and official Chinese negotiator of the Convention. Several others who had participated in the earlier workshop, such as Sun Wei, Zhong Lun partner and participant in the Convention negotiations as part of Beijing Arbitration Commission’s delegation to the negotiations as with observer status, had previous engagements and were unable to attend. The closed-door and invitation-only format of the workshop enabled a positive and interactive discussion among all participants.
Part of the purpose of the workshop was to discuss a research report (not publicly available) that Professor Liu and his team had prepared for MOFCOM, discussing a number of issues related to implementing the Convention in China. Additionally, from the brief remarks each participant made, it was possible to obtain a greater understanding of the more specific implications and issues involved that otherwise would be impossible for a person outside that system to recognize. For example, Judge Guo Zaiyu of the SPC #4 Civil Division (and CICC) spoke about certain court-related issues. I drew on my August blogpost and my discussions earlier that day with a prominent lawyer to discuss state-owned enterprise-related issues.
Among the many issues discussed were the implications for the courts, preventing the enforcement of fraudulent mediation settlements, promoting the growth of commercial mediation and legislative issues.
It was also an opportunity to gain a bit more understanding, as a participant and observer, about the complex process of implementing an international convention in China.