On Monday 23 April, Christine Grahame MSP, Convenor of the Justice Committee, sponsored an event in the Scottish Parliament on arbitration links between China and Scotland. The event was arranged by the Scottish Arbitration Centre (the Centre) and the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission Foreign Arbitrators’ Forum (the Forum), and supported by the Scottish Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
During the seminar, keynote speaker Mr Cai Renrong, Advisor to the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) Secretariat and former Chief Representative of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in the United States coming from Beijing provided a presentation on the amended CIETAC Rules.
Ms Grahame welcomed everyone to the Parliament, before handing over to Brandon Malone, Chairman of the Centre, who spoke about Scottish arbitration from an international perspective. The Rt. Hon Lord Hamilton, The Lord President, also addressed the audience on a Scottish case involving a Chinese party, and Mr Li Ruiyou, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Edinburgh, emphasised the strong links that have been developed between Scotland and China. Anthony Connerty, barrister and Chairman of the Forum, set out the background to the Forum before introducing Mr Cai, who gave an explanation of the recent changes to the CIETAC rules, which came into force of 1st May 2012.
Brandon Malone said:
“For Scottish businesses trading with China, Scottish arbitration offers an enforceable, cost effective way to resolve disputes. An effective arbitration clause is an essential part of any international contract. We are looking forward to developing arbitration links with China. Scotland is a logical neutral seat for arbitrations under the CIETAC rules. We will be encouraging Scottish arbitrators to engage with CIETAC, and to apply to become CIETAC ‘Foreign Arbitrators’.”
Mr Cai said:
“As trade increases between China and Scotland it is inevitable that commercial disputes will arise. Arbitration is the best way to resolve commercial disputes. We hope that the increased flexibility built into the new CIETAC Rules will enable hearings to take place outside China.”
Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive of the Centre, said:
“We were delighted to work with the Forum to facilitate this event, which will allow the Centre and Scotland an opportunity to strengthen links with CIETAC, CCPIT, and China, following on from a recent visit to the Centre from the China Maritime Law Association. It also provided the Centre with an opportunity to promote Scottish arbitration to those attending, including Mr Cai.”
Mr Connerty said:
“The Forum was most impressed by the arrangements made by the Scottish Arbitration Centre for the seminar staged in Edinburgh. The venue for the seminar in the Scottish Parliament building was excellent. The capacity audience included representatives of leading Scottish law firms, academia, Government, and the wider arbitration community. Furthermore, the Q&A session showed great interest in CIETAC’s approach to dispute resolution.”
Photo by Cate Gillion. From left to right: Anthony Connerty; Cai Renrong; Brandon Malone; and Andrew Mackenzie.