Wang Hongsong, Secretary-General at the Tea Party of the BAC in 2001
First, on behalf of all the staff of the office, I express our heartfelt thanks to all arbitrators that make contributions to the development of the BAC, and the attending leaders who have always shown concerns and offered support for the BAC, including Mr. Hu Kangsheng, director-general of the Commission of Legislative Affairs of NPC, Mr. Lu Yunhua, director of the Department of Codification of the Office of Legislative Affairs of the State Council, and Mr. Lu Yong and Mr. Huang Xinhua, leaders of the Department of Codification of the Office of Legislative Affairs of the State Council. Next, I will make a brief report on our work last year.
1. Case accepting and handling
Last year, the BAC accepted and handled a total of 449 cases, an increase of 123 cases, with a 37 percent growth rate as compared to that in 1999. Of these cases, there were eight foreign contractual disputes, accounting for 1.78 percent of the total. The general information of cases accepted and handled last year is as follows:
First, the proportion of some main types of cases changed dramatically. The proportion of sales cases dropped significantly from 78.2 percent in 1999 to 34.3 percent in 2000; while that of engineering and construction cases increased from 15.3 percent in 1999 to 31.85 percent in 2000.
Second, the types of cases varied dramatically. There arose some new types of cases, including television, copyright transferring, agency agreement and stock ownership transferring.
Third, the number of involved industries consistently increased. These included financial securities, civil aviation, entertainment and IT industries, which, to some extent, reflected that the BAC has imparted a greater influence upon the society.
In 2000, we concluded 391 cases occupying 87 percent of all accepted cases, an increase of 85 cases and 21.7 percent respectively. Among all the settled cases, 45.6 percent was concluded by arbitral award, 24.9 percent by mediation, 25.3 percent by the parties conciliation, and 4.2 percent by withdrawal due to private conciliation. The average duration for a single case from the constitution of the arbitral tribunal to the conclusion was 88 days, shortened by 5 days compared to that in 1999.
As of today, the BAC has handled 1,351 cases in total, with 7 cases in 1995, 149 in 1996, 168 with a 12.9 percent growth rate in 1997, 233 with a 38 percent growth rate in 1998, 326 with a 40 percent growth rate in 1999 and 449 with a 37.7 percent growth rate in 2000. The growth rate for case numbers has been above 37 percent for three successive years. Of the handled cases, the proportion of cases in which parties definitely requested the BAC to handle their cases in the written arbitration agreement has gone up year by year with 25.5 percent in 1996, 33.3 percent in 1997, 85.28 percent in 1998, 90.8 percent in 1999 and 87.7 percent in 2000.
Of the total of 1,189 settled cases, 579 cases were concluded by arbitral awards, accounting for 48.6 percent, 288 cases were concluded by conciliation, 24 percent, and 236 cases were concluded by the parties settlement, 19.8 percent. The BAC decided to dismiss 89 cases for reasons related to subject qualifications, accounting for 7.4 percent.
In addition, among the concluded cases, there were 65 cases, in which the parties applied to the Court to set aside arbitral awards. The Court revoked four arbitral awards completely or partly and decided that one arbitral award was to be re-arbitrated. According to incomplete statistics, there were 30 cases in which parties applied to the Court for non-enforcement. As a result, the enforcement of 5 arbitral awards was refused. The total cases of non-enforcement or re-arbitration took up 0.8 percent of concluded cases and 1.5 percent of cases arbitrated by awards. Among the newly established arbitration institutions, the BAC still ranked first with regard to the number of accepted cases, concluded cases, arbitration quality and work efficiency.
Last year, we wrote 53 articles that were published in newspapers, magazines. Six issues of Beijing Arbitration Newsletter were completed and distributed. So far, we have written over 420 articles in newspapers and magazines and distributed 31 issues of the Beijing Arbitration Newsletter. By meeting and holding symposiums, we also established constant contacts with some financial institutes, foreign enterprises in Beijing and training departments of some government offices. Moreover, we held more than 10 training courses, which attracted about 11,000 participants. Especially with the support of the Beijing High Court, we were given the opportunity to introduce the character and development of the present arbitration system at the training program for judges, which reinforced communication and mutual understanding between the Peoples court and the BAC.
3. Theoretical research and training
In 2000, the BAC organized more than 10 seminars or symposia involving Arbitration Law. We held the international commercial arbitration lecture with participants that included staff members, some judges and counselors at laws. At the lecture, Prof. Yang Liangyi, a famous arbitrator in Hong Kong was specially invited to introduce the practices of international commercial arbitration. We also held symposiums about practices in arbitration. Several leaders were invited to attend the lecture, including those from the civil law office of the Commission of Legislative Affairs of the NPC, the Department of Codification of the State Councils Office of Legislative Affaires, the Supreme Peoples Court and relevant divisions and offices of the Beijing municipal government and the Beijing High Court. The attendants were gathered to research arbitration jurisdiction from both theoretical and practical perspectives and judicial review.
Moreover, in order to further perfect the Criterion of Case Handling for Arbitrators of the Beijing Arbitration Commission (draft) and the Criterion of the Arbitration Award Rendering of the Beijing Arbitration Commission (revised draft), we held 7 symposia to take in a wide variety of comments and suggestions.
Aimed at problems existing in the cost appraisal in the engineering disputes, the BAC-stipulated Proposed Measures of Entrustment Appraisal of the Beijing Arbitration Commission regulated the obligation, responsibility and selection system of cost-consultation companies. At the same time, we, together with the cost division of the Beijing Construction Committee, selected, checked, and approved 11 cost appraisal companies with a grade A qualification as preferred companies for the parties and the arbitral tribunal. As a result, the measures had favorable effects on shortening the time for appraising cost in construction disputes.
4. Perfecting further the official automation system
Last year, we not only further improved the arbitration management software but also developed the office automation system in the NOTES system, including E-discussion section, E-bulletins and E-mail. At present, the receiving and dispatching of files, attendance checking, books and reference materials, and the BACs goods management are constantly controlled and managed through computers. Moreover, it is possible for each computer in the office to directly access the internet, so as to dramatically enrich the information available for us.
Looking back, we are absolutely confident in our cause; looking to the futures, we will have to shoulder heavy responsibilities. It is obvious to us that in this increasingly fierce social competition, permanent winners do not exist. Like the old saying goes, there is always another heaven beyond this one, another mountain beyond the mountain, and always someone better. Therefore, even if we exceed others today, others may replace us in the future. Although the reputation we have accumulated over the years was achieved by hard work, it may be easily destroyed in a moment. Like sailing against the stream, you either forge ahead or fall behind and any slackness may be a source of trouble sooner or later. Thus, we must think of danger even when in peace. Whatever honors and achievements we have acquired, we should be fully aware of and alert to our deficiencies and problems. No matter how many cases we take on, we should be constantly conscientious of the appropriatly handling cases in a careful and serious manner in an effort to constantly enhance the quality and efficiency of our service. We have to try our best to achieve this high standard and we will never show self-satisfaction, never break down and will make vigorous efforts and work hard at all times.
We know that under the current circumstances, in order to become an arbitration institution of impartiality, incorruption and high efficiency, it is necessary for the BAC to possess more ethical courage to resist various temptations and to withstand tremendous pressure. We should spare no efforts to adopt the kinds of measures that will allow us to firmly fight against corruptive practices such as abusing power for personal gains, dealing with power and money and substituting friendship, affection and personal sentiments for legal principles. In this way we can make the arbitrator impartial and pure forever. We will turn the BAC into a clean land of impartiality free of corruption, where people can experience equity and justice and be confident of the arbitration system. We believe that no matter the social atmosphere, the criterion people use to tell the right from the wrong and distinguish the good from the evil will not change. Truth, goodness, and beauty will always move people on a deep level. So, only if we insist on impartiality and justice, will this institution keep vigorous all the time.
We also know that there is still a long road ahead and there are still many difficulties and problems for us to overcome before we can set up an arbitration institute that completely follows Arbitration Law and international practices. Whether in favorable or adverse circumstances, we will never diverge from the objective and direction enacted in Arbitration Law. Moreover, by our own endeavors and achievements, we will testify to the necessity of performing in accordance with the principles of Arbitration Law, which will make us more successful.
This year we will accomplish the main tasks as follows:
1. Completing case handling work impartially and on a timely basis; constantly improving the efficiency of case handling on the premise of guaranteeing the quality of case handling.
2. Accomplishing term change of the BAC in accordance with the spirit of documents of the State Council and the Constitution of the BAC.
3. Further perfecting the Arbitration Rules, Ethical Standards of Arbitrators, Criterion for Case Handling and Criterion of the Arbitration Award Rendering, Compiling a Handbook for Arbitrators, and perfecting relevant documents, including all kinds of notices.
4. Further Strengthening the research and discussion about arbitration theory and practices.
5. Further improving the automatic office facilities of arbitration rooms. The BAC will implement a simultaneous record at oral hearings in the future in order to enhance the impartiality and transparency of hearing records and to improve the quality and standard of our service.