Qianhai will create a legal environment based on fairness, justice, kindness and credibility by learning and referring to international business guidelines and commercial systems. Three platforms will be established, namely the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration, the Qianhai Tribunal, and the Qianhai Anti-Corruption Bureau. There will be three special policies: joint operation of Hong Kong law firms and Mainland law firms; identification mechanisms; and mediation by mediators and assessors from Hong Kong.
With respect to the legal environment and business environment in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, the Qianhai government is striving to bring about a smooth relationship between the legal environments of the two regions. The Qianhai government is actively seeking support from the National People’s Congress and making full use of the legislative authority conferred on special economic zones.
A legal system that sufficiently adapts to the development of a modern service industry shall be set up with reference to international guidelines.
Qianhai will try to seek support from the National People’s Congress, make full use of its legislative power, and explore an expansion of the range of Hong Kong laws applicable to Qianhai commercial disputes. In addition, Hong Kong laws may be considered when signing Hong Kong-related commercial contracts.
Based on industry development demands, Qianhai will learn from international financial centres in utilising laws to protect industry development so as to bring about innovation and breakthroughs in modern service industry legislation. These steps will safeguard Qinghai’s industry innovation and development.
Qianhai will learn the laws of Hong Kong’s modern service industry to set up one to two local guidelines per year, gradually forming a legal framework in line with international standards as well as those of Hong Kong. Such a framework shall dovetail with the development direction of the modern service industry as well as its requirements for reform and innovation.
1. A three-year plan will be made to guide the direction of Qianhai’s legislation in the coming three years.
2. In accordance with the requirements of the Municipal People's Congress and the Municipal Government for a legislative plan, legislative research and drafting shall be completed on projects such as those relating to the protection of financial information, construction, planning and management of Qianhai’s talent reform experimental zone, and management of the electronic authentication service.
3. To conduct research and fashion a management method for Qianhai’s foreign investment, and ascertain convenient ways to handle foreign investment.
4. To set up “Implementation Methods for Qianhai’s Administrative Review”, organise such matters, simplify the approval procedure and standardise Qianhai’s administrative review.
5. To explore the implementation methods of adopting Hong Kong laws for Hong Kong-related commercial contracts in Qianhai.
6. To draw a conclusion on experiences and problems that account for Qianhai’s actual development. To amend “The Guidelines Pertaining to the Qianhai Shenzhen Hong Kong Cooperation Zone”, “The Qianhai Administration’s Interim Procedures”, and “The Qianhai Bay Bonded Port’s Interim Procedures.
Qianhai Anti-Corruption Bureau (QACB or the Bureau) was officially established on May 8 2013 and is a professional supervisory organization established pursuant to the Regulations Governing Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. QACB is ultimately an innovative Shenzhen-based body designed to explore anti-corruption supervision methods and mechanisms at basic community level. Directly under the supervision of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee and the Shenzhen Municipal Government, the Bureau is in charge of anti-corruption supervision initiatives within the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone. As such, it reports directly to the Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection with its structure based on that of a Deputy Bureau comprising a Case Investigation Division and a Corruption Prevention Division (a.k.a. Division of Community Works). QACB has an establishment of 17 staff, of whom, 11 are authorized persons from the Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Municipal Supervision Bureau respectively. A further six staff have been assigned from the People's Procuratorate, the Municipal Public Security Bureau and the Municipal Audit Bureau. By adopting the model of “Unified Management of Manpower, Lawful Execution of Power and Collaborative Implementation of Supervision”, the Bureau intends to establish a “demonstration zone for anti-corruption works” and is striving to explore various ways of building an effective anti-corruption supervision mechanism that matches the political systems of the PRC. This mechanism will in turn connect with available systems for punishing and preventing corruption, and also assist prevailing legal systems. The primary goal is to create a clean, efficient, fair and impartial business environment that upholds the rule of law and will ultimately ensure the successful future opening up and development of Qianhai.
The Qianhai Anti-Corruption Bureau was established to exert significant influence in efficiently supervising administrative matters, changing from a ‘multi-level’ to an ‘integrated’ supervisory method.
To actively explore the establishment of an integrity supervision mechanism in keeping with China’s political system and corruption punishment system as well as the current legal system. To maintain innovating supervision methods, further perform integrity supervision, gradually build an integrity supervision system and operation mechanism featuring ‘uniform personnel management, lawful exercise of functions and powers, and joint efforts in supervision’ to provide supervisory support and guarantee the integrity of Qinghai’s opening up and development.
In the innovation of management mechanism, the Qianhai Tribunal is considering adopting an all-new management mode aimed at promoting professional reform for judges. By categorizing staff members of the Tribunal, new measures are intended to establish a team management mode centered on judges and within which ancillary judicial personnel and legal administration personnel will assist one another. The Tribunal will then select the best candidates within the city to come to Qianhai and serve as judges, and priorities will be given to those with overseas study experience. The Tribunal also plans to adopt an employment system for its ancillary judicial personnel and legal administration personnel. To provide better opportunities for judges’ career development, the Tribunal will also provide respective career trainings, adopt appraisal mechanisms and initiate a reward and punishment system.
In the innovation of trial mechanism under the context of Qianhai’s unique positioning as a Shenzhen-Hong Kong Cooperation Zone and the potential incidents of business disputes involving parties from Hong Kong, the Tribunal plans to set up a test operation. The resultant comprehensive pilot mechanism will comprise of a “Single Judge Trial + Mediation Council + Hong Kong Jury + Professional Judgment”. In doing so, the Tribunal intends to guarantee independent trials by judges. This should save judicial resources, enhance efficiency of handling proceedings and strengthen judges’ sense of responsibility for their presiding cases. The single judge mechanism will also foster the ethics of conscientious trialing. By introducing a mediation council, the Tribunal will also ensure added balance in their handling of more complicated cases. As the mediation team will appraise, discuss and confirm case facts, a judge will not be allowed to change any facts as confirmed by the mediation unit without first going through a series of strict procedures. In this way, the Tribunal should be able to deliver the essence of the Western concept of a jury system via a China-style mediation system. Following a trial operation of the mechanism with a Hong Kong jury, the Tribunal will select Chinese nationals holding Hong Kong citizenship who work in Qianhai to serve as a “People’s Jury”. In doing so, it will enable any judgment given by the Tribunal to reflect judicial democracy while taking into account local concepts regarding laws, social issues and morality in Hong Kong. The Tribunal will also attempt to implement a professional trial mechanism by forming different professional trial teams based on prevalent local disputes in areas such as construction, insurance, finance and intellectual property. To this end, the Tribunal will encourage the members of each team to become legal experts in their respective fields. In turn, these professional trial teams will focus on researching the Hong Kong laws governing their respective cases, and making breakthroughs in line with such laws at appropriate timing.
In the innovation of service mechanism, the Tribunal will focus on creating a local business environment that is international and uphold the rule of law. Given that litigants from parties in both Shenzhen and Hong Kong will be more likely to seek mediation when they are not familiar with applicable laws in the other party’s jurisdiction, the Tribunal is considering establishing a “Mediation Centre for Business Disputes Between Shenzhen and Hong Kong”, with the aim of conducting pre-trail mediation in co-operation with professional mediation organizations from Hong Kong. With the help of the Shenzhen Nanshan Law Culture Museum and its library, the Tribunal also intends to show China’s legal culture to foreign investors who are going to invest in Qianhai. It will help such investors better understand the PRC’s Laws and increase their confidence in the special legal zone. To enable China enterprises investing in Qianhai to know more about Hong Kong laws, and to enhance the training of professional judges, the Tribunal will also build an inter-regional platform for mutual assistance in legal information. The founding of a database of Hong Kong laws and legal precedents, and the setting up of an exchange platform for legal information in exchange with judicial organizations and higher education institutes from Hong Kong is also planned. Such steps will require judges to attempt to give interpretations to Hong Kong laws governing a specified field. Given that the majority of businesses in Qianhai are innovative enterprises, the Tribunal also intends to actively extend their judicial work. To this end, they will establish an online mediation center for intellectual property rights and a database of intellectual property rights holders, resulting in the full driving and promotion of Qianhai’s innovative legal services plan and the practicing of an active judiciary which aims at optimizing their influence amongst local communities.
The Qianhai Tribunal shall be established to liaise with Hong Kong professional mediation bodies to actively conduct pre-litigation mediation of commercial cases. Moreover, the utilisation of assessors from Hong Kong shall be put into trial use. Qualified Hong Kong residents shall act as assessors. Therefore, the judgment shall reflect not only judicial integrity but also international legal guidelines.
To fashion a trial mechanism that meets the development demands of Qianhai’s modern service industry, the Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court specially appointed over 100 judges to study at relevant universities and training centres in Hong Kong. This preparation helped build a formidable reserve of legal talent for innovating a trial mechanism for the Qianhai Tribunal.
To explore the possibility of setting up the Qianhai Tribunal based on Qianhai’s legal system, with reference to an advanced international trial system, centred on innovation and improving judicial credibility. To innovate and promote a mechanism combining a ‘sole-judge trial plus mediation review plus Hong Kong assessor plus professional trial’, and build such a commercial trial system bearing Qianhai characteristics that meet the development demands of Qinghai’s modern service industry. To innovate and set up a service platform for commercial dispute mediation, Hong Kong laws identification, and intellectual property protection so as to provide judicial protection for the development of Qinghai’s industries. To innovate in management and explore the possibility of bettering judge professionalisation for the Qianhai Tribunal and gradually introduce a classification mechanism centred on judges. To streamline related measures such as a judge quota mechanism and a judge selection system as well as improve the treatment of judges and enhance their sense of vocational reputation and social credibility.
1. To implement measures so that qualified Hong Kong residents can act as people’s assessors in the Qianhai Tribunal and participate in case hearings in Qianhai.
2. To appoint excellent judges whose backgrounds include overseas education; to create a professional trial system by forming professional teams of judges with different expertise, including finance, logistics, insurance, securities, futures and intellectual property.
3. To build a mediation-lawsuit mechanism relying on the Qianhai Tribunal, and to form a ‘mediation team’ to perform pre-mediation to improve efficiency in dispute settlement.
4. To research and issue the reform proposal of judge professionalisation of the Qianhai Tribunal to advance the sustainable and healthy development of commercial trials in Qianhai.
5. To build a support platform between the Mainland and Hong Kong regarding the ‘exchange of regional legal materials’ and to make preparations to create a database of Hong Kong laws and legal precedents.
The Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration officially launched in Qianhai, with a registry of the most international arbitrators in Mainland China, including 180 foreign arbitrators from 29 countries and regions, accounting for 35% of all arbitrators in Qianhai. Both concerned parties can reach an agreement to adopt the applicable laws of other countries or regions. They can also appoint lawyers from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan or foreign lawyers to act as agents. The court provides an arbitration platform with international credibility for Chinese enterprises to ‘go abroad’ and for foreign enterprises to ‘come to China’.
To create a commercial arbitration platform in Qianhai for cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau by using the international credibility that the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration has established in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau the past thirty years as well as using the international legal person governance mechanism of the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration as defined in legislation pertaining to the special economic zone. Sustainable innovation, independence and openness will attract more international professionals to participate in Qinghai’s international commercial arbitrations. They can act as council member arbitrators, mediators, expert witnesses or agents. Therefore, the international credibility of Qianhai International Arbitration will improve, and Qianhai will become an international arbitration centre and a hub to settle commercial disputes in Asia.
1. To recruit standard overseas arbitrators and raise from one-third the original proportion of foreign arbitrators.
2. To amend the arbitration rules and evidence procedure guidelines of the Shenzhen International Court of Arbitration, and determine business guidelines to fuel industry development in Qianhai and the special economic zone. This is to satisfy the demand for an open legal environment in Qianhai.
3. To keep increasing the quantity and expand the scale of international arbitration hearings in Qianhai, and continue to expand the influence of Qianhai in both domestic and foreign commercial arbitration.
4. To actively exert the influence of the Shenzhen Securities and Futures Dispute Resolution Centre for the settlement of capital market disputes to create a safe and harmonious legal environment for Qinghai’s capital market.
5. To create a mechanism for famous foreign arbitration organisations to conduct coordinated arbitration business through Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration, and provide assistance in hearings to world-famous international arbitration organisations.
6. To invite the primary commercial arbitration organisations of Greater China and set up a ‘Greater China International Commercial Arbitration Forum’, and further improve the influence of Qianhai in commercial arbitration in Greater China.
Shenzhen Securities and Futures Dispute Resolution Centre (SFDRC or the Resolution Centre) is the first organization of its kind in mainland China’s capital market to offer both mediation and arbitration functions. Supervision Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality under China Securities Regulatory Commission (SSB) and the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) both enthusiastically advocated the new body’s establishment. Co-funded by the SCIA, the Security Association of Shenzhen (SAS), the Shenzhen Futures Association (SFA) and the Shenzhen Investment Fund Guild (SIFG), the Resolution Centre is the juridical embodiment of a public institution conducting of charity works has been registered, established and approved by the Shenzhen Registration and Management Bureau for Public Institutions (SRMBPI). The Resolution Centre receives operational guidance from SSB. In addition to SCIA representatives, its Council members include the SAS, SFA and SIFG, plus the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and Qianhai Equity Exchange.
JOINT-OPERATION LAW FIRM
The Ministry of Justice officially approved a proposal to set up a pilot joint operation of Qianhai-Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau law firms, and the municipal Ministry of Justice is accelerating work on its implementation.
Hong Kong laws were selected to be applicable to draft “Guidelines on Hong Kong-related Contracts for the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone”. Efforts are now being made to solicit the support of the National People’s Congress.
A multi-layered legal cooperation platform shall be established based on coordination between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The cooperation between the lawyers in the Mainland and Hong Kong shall be further strengthened. Qianhai shall also conduct a pilot joint-operation partnership of Qianhai Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau law firms, and accelerate efforts to appeal to Hong Kong law firms to offer legal service in Qianhai. A Hong Kong law identification mechanism shall be established to make the use of Hong Kong laws convenient. Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau commercial mediation organisations shall be encouraged to cooperate by using the platform of commercial dispute settlement organisations with international credibility. Innovative mediation methods shall be used to provide commercial mediation services for enterprises in Qianhai. With the influence of the South China Enterprise Legal Forum, legal leaders of major enterprises in southern China shall gather in Qianhai to improve Qianhai’s image in the field of high-end legal services.
1. To seek approval from the Ministry of Justice for piloting joint operations by Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau law firms in Qianhai.
2. To explore the establishment of Shenzhen-Hong Kong law identification mechanisms.
3. To work with the primary commercial mediation organisations in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau and establish a cooperation mechanism and platform in Qianhai to provide innovative mediation services for enterprises in Qianhai.
4. To launch the South China Enterprise Legal Forum in Qianhai and organise the 2014 forum conference with reference to urgent industry needs in Qianhai.
5. To complete the feasibility studies and establish the project building of the Qianhai International Legal Services Centre.