Yang Wanming's speech at the opening ceremony of the China Forum on International Legal Cooperation 2020

(english.court.gov.cn) Updated : 2021-01-07

Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the China Forum on International

Legal Cooperation 2020

 

Yang Wanming

 

 Justice, Vice-President of the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China

 

 

Distinguished Chief Justices,

Colleagues in the legal profession,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s my great pleasure to attend the China Forum on International Legal Cooperation 2020. On behalf of Mr. Zhou Qiang, Chief Justice of the People's Republic of China and President of the Supreme People's Court, I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations to the opening of this forum!

2020 is an extraordinary year. At the threshold of the third decade of the 21st century, the world has encountered a series of severe challenges such as the COVID- 19 pandemic, the economic contraction and downturn, headwinds against globalization, as well as the rise of protectionism, unilateralism and bullying. On the other hand, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the victory in the World Anti-Fascist War and the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. It is also an important year for our society to practice the rule of law on the international stage in an attempt to promote peaceful development. Recently, President Xi Jinping delivered important speeches at the 75th Anniversary Summit of the United Nations and the General Debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, declaring one more time China's firm standing on the path of multilateralism and proclaiming China's support to the core role of the United Nations. This has resonated wide across the international community. At this special historical moment, the China Law Society has organized the China Forum on International Legal Cooperation 2020, bringing together colleagues in the legal profession from various countries to discuss two topics: "legal cooperation on public health" and "international commercial dispute prevention and settlement for the Belt and Road." These topics are of extraordinary significance as they promote law-based cooperation among all countries and maintain international order based on the international law.

The global spread of COVID-19 not only poses a huge challenge to the judicial work of all countries, but also urges it to expand consensus and engage in cooperation in response to major global public health emergencies. Since the beginning of 2020, the Supreme People's Court of China under the leadership of Chief Justice Zhou Qiang has attached great importance to the coordination of epidemic control and socioeconomic development by issuing three Guiding Opinions of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues Concerning Proper Handling of Civil Cases Involving COVID-19. It has facilitated the fair and efficient settlement of all sorts of civil and commercial disputes, making it more convenient for relevant parties to participate in cross-border litigation and stabilizing reasonable expectations of Chinese and foreign parties. During the epidemic control period, courts across China have instituted a "one-stop" litigation service system, smoothed online litigation channels via platforms such as the mobile mini courts, and overcame the adverse impact of COVID-19 on trial and enforcement. From February 3 to September 4, Chinese courts filed 4.543 million cases, carried out 606,000 hearings and 2.032 million sessions of mediation through online means, an increase of 54.65%, 831.16% and 299.44% year-on-year respectively. With the number of delivered electronic documents reaching 12.903 million, we have ensured that trial and enforcement will be carried out evermore in pursuit of fairness and justice.

Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, The judiciaries of China and participating countries share the important missions of maintaining social stability, supporting economic development, effectively resolving conflicts and disputes, and promoting fairness and justice. In recent years, the Supreme People's Court of China has attached great importance to the functional role of justice in improving the business environment. Under the leadership of Chief Justice Zhou Qiang, it has devoted a lot of fruitful efforts in creating a stable, fair, transparent and predictable business environment based on the rule of law and indicators of business climate in China, having seen continuous and remarkable improvements. In terms of the mechanism for dispute resolution, the Supreme People’s Court has established two international commercial courts in Shenzhen and Xi'an, and engaged 31 international commercial experts from 14 countries and regions. It has put into place an initial version of "one-stop" alternative dispute resolution mechanism in which litigation, arbitration and mediation are connected to address international commercial disputes, contributing with Chinese solutions and wisdom to the BRI disputes resolution mechanisms. It is reasonable that we still have to work on many fronts since such an initiative and exploration of CICC underpinned by a more open mechanism still has a lot to learn from more mature international commercial courts in relevant countries. I believe discussions and exchanges during this forum could help experts make observations and suggestions from different angles based on foreign experience and reflection of local circumstances. It will definitely inspire new enlightenment and inject fresh ideas into the international mechanism for commercial dispute resolution.

Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Thanks to the continuous strengthening of pragmatic cooperation among countries in various fields, a landscape of intertwined interests and interdependence for win-win results has taken shape. However, cross-border crimes and foreign commercial disputes have been on the rise at the same time, posing serious threats to regional economic development and social stability. In the face of these complicated issues and severe challenges, we should give judiciary a bigger role to play in resolving international disputes, strictly enforcing the rule of law, promoting cooperation, correctly applying and developing international law, continuously building up judicial capabilities, and contributing to a fair, just and reasonable international order. The Supreme People’s Court of China is willing to work with you all to fulfill judicial duties and responsibilities, carry out in-depth discussions on judicial responses and measures, share beneficial experiences, and work together to cope with the risks and challenges. Joining hands together, we will contribute to the battle against COVID-19 and uphold the international order and system with the purposes and principles in the UN Charter as its core.

Finally, please allow me to wish this forum a great success! Thank you!