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SCIA Qianhai further expands International Cooperation

Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) will adopt a cooperative approach to introduce international organizations and world-renowned arbitration institutions to expand its circle of participants.

Brief SCIA Background

SCIA, also known as South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, was established in 1983. It is the first arbitration institution in the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao region.

An SCIA mandate is to explore and integrate China’s commercial arbitration into international practices. In 1984, the SCIA took the lead in China in appointing arbitrators from foreign jurisdictions to its panel of arbitrators; and in 1989, the SCIA became the first arbitration institution in Mainland China whose arbitral award was recognized and enforced outside Mainland China pursuant to the “New York Convention”. More than one third of the Council members and arbitrators of SCIA come from foreign jurisdictions.

SCIA is China’s first arbitration institution whose governance structure of statutory body is established through legislation. It adopts a management model with checks and balances where its international council is at the core of decision-making, implementation and supervision to ensure the independence of both the arbitration institution and arbitral tribunals.

In December 2017, SCIA and the former Shenzhen Arbitration Commission merged into the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration. It is the first merger of permanent arbitration institutions worldwide. The new SCIA is regarded as the model for the Chinese arbitration industry. Standing at the forefront of reform and openness, the SCIA continues to seek opportunities to modernise, internationalise, and expand cooperation.

Integrating Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau

SCIA has been approved by the Municipal Party Committee to add an arbitration center to further enhance SAR (Special Administrative Region) participation of Hong Kong and Macau. As such, SCIA will optimise the governance structure of the board of directors to reflect this and loop in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone by constructing an exchange platform for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area International Arbitration Center. This will provide a venue for qualified Hong Kong and Macau legal professional to conduct business on international arbitration and enhance exchange, cooperation, and convenience for SAR's.

Expanding International Participation

With the SCIA Qianhai building as the physical venue, the SCIA will invite international organizations and well-known arbitration institutions to cooperate in the development of an international dispute center in China. At present, a number of international organizations and overseas arbitration institutions have expressed their interest to settle in Qianhai, including the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the World Bank International Investment Dispute Settlement Center (ICSID), The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), the International Chamber of Commerce International - The Court of Arbitration (ICC-ICA), the Arbitration Institute of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce (SCAI), and the Singapore International Mediation Center (SIMC), as well as others.

The SCIA has also established a professional branch, the China (Shenzhen) Intellectual Property Arbitration Center , which focuses on serving the development of high-tech enterprises. On April 20 and April 24, 2021, the China (Shenzhen) Intellectual Property Arbitration Center was inaugurated in the Nanshan District and Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone. In addition, the SCIA has established a new professional branch for maritime arbitration to serve the overall development of Shenzhen's construction as global coastal city hub..

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