Interpretation of Shanghai FTZ arbitration rules

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The Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (also known as the Shanghai International Arbitration Centre [SHIAC], and formerly the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission Shanghai Commission/Sub-Commission) officially released its China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone arbitration rules on 8 April 2014. The rules came into force on 1 May 2014.

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The FTZ rules, which consist of 10 chapters and 85 articles, have implemented and improved a series of advanced features of international commercial arbitration. The rules have the following innovations: high flexibility and openness in scope of application; improved interim measures; adoption of an emergency tribunal; adoption of an open panel of arbitrators; refined articles re the “consolidation of arbitrations” and “joinder of other parties under arbitration agreement”; improved combination of arbitration with mediation through the foundation of “mediation by mediator” before the constitution of a tribunal; strengthened evidence rules (parties may agree to apply the International Bar Association rules on the taking of evidence in international commercial arbitration and other rules); implementation of “award ex aequo et bono”; and adoption of procedures for small claims, which will reduce the cost of arbitration.

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Wen Wanli is the vice chairman and secretary general of SHIAC