Q&As

Who will govern a dispute which provides for arbitration by the CIETAC Shanghai sub-commission?

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Published on LexisPSL on 25/02/2015

The following Arbitration Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Who will govern a dispute which provides for arbitration by the CIETAC Shanghai sub-commission?
  • Background
  • Clarification from the courts?
  • What to do?

Who will govern a dispute which provides for arbitration by the CIETAC Shanghai sub-commission?

On the face of it you would expect a dispute resolution clause that called for the dispute to be referred to the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) Shanghai sub-commission would be straightforward (as usually references to arbitral bodies such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) are). However, clauses that provide for CIETAC arbitration are not so straightforward.

Background

Following the revisions to the CIETAC arbitration rules in 2012, CIETAC's Shanghai and South China sub-commissions declared themselves independent of CIETAC. CIETAC suspended authorisation to the sub-commissions to accept and administer cases under the CIETAC Rules—see Practice Note: CIETAC—former sub-commissions [Archived].

The former CIETAC Shanghai sub-commission subsequently renamed itself the Shanghai International Arbitration Centre (SHIAC), a move denounced by CIETAC. CIETAC suspended SHIAC's authorisation to administer CIETAC cases though SHIAC denied that CIETAC's statement was binding and continued to accept cases which provided for CIETAC Shanghai.

In January 2013 SHIAC officially became the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, also known as the Shanghai International Arbitration Centre. Its own arbitration rules came into force in May 2014.

Clarification from the courts?

In 2014, CIETAC issued further revised rules which, among other things, sought to clarify the role of its sub-commissions and provide certainty for those with arbitration

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