CIETAC Arbitration Rules

Key features of CIETAC Arbitration Rules

1. Options for conduct of arbitration

With protection of parties’ arbitral rights in mind, CIETAC keeps on working to design mechanisms that save parties in dispute time and money. The arbitral tribunal shall hold oral hearings when examining the case. However, the arbitral tribunal may examine the case on the basis of documents only if the parties so agree. The arbitral tribunal may adopt an inquisitorial or adversarial approach in hearing the case having regard to the circumstances of the case, and if it considers it necessary, it can issue procedural orders or question lists, produce terms of reference, or hold pre-hearing conferences, etc. unless agreed otherwise by parties.

2. Summary Procedure

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, Summary Procedure shall apply to any case where the amount in dispute does not exceed RMB 5,000,000; or to any case where the amount in dispute exceeds RMB 5,000,000, yet one party applies for arbitration under the Summary Procedure and the other party agrees in writing.

The Respondent shall submit its Statement of Defense, evidence and other supporting documents within 20 days of receipt of the Notice of Arbitration; counterclaim, if any, shall also be filed with evidence and supporting documents within the same time period. The arbitral tribunal shall render an arbitral award within 3 months from the date on which the arbitral tribunal is formed. 

3. Conciliation

Where both parties wish to conciliate, or where one party wishes to conciliate and the other party’s consent has been obtained by the arbitral tribunal, the arbitral tribunal may conciliate the case during the course of the arbitration proceedings.

If the parties wish to conciliate their dispute but do not wish to have conciliation conducted by the arbitral tribunal, CIETAC may, with the consent of both parties, assist the parties to conciliate the dispute in a manner and procedure it considers appropriate. The parties may also settle the case by themselves.

If a settlement agreement is reached through conciliation by the arbitral tribunal or by the parties themselves, the parties may withdraw their claim or counterclaim. The parties may also request the arbitral tribunal to render an arbitral award or a conciliation statement in accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement.

Where conciliation fails, any opinion, view or statement, and any proposal or proposition expressing acceptance or opposition by either party or by the arbitral tribunal in the process of conciliation, shall not be invoked by either party as grounds for any claim, defense or counterclaim in the subsequent arbitration proceedings, judicial proceedings, or any other proceedings.

4. Case Management and Case Consulting

After CIETAC accepts a case, its Arbitration Court shall designate a Case Manager to assist with the procedural administration of the case.

5. Respecting Parties’ Choice of Arbitrators

CIETAC respects parties’ choice of arbitrators. Parties can choose the arbitrators listed in the Panel of Arbitrators, they can also choose arbitrators outside the Panel.

6. Experienced and Skilled Arbitrators 

There are more than one thousand selective and experienced arbitrators in current list of CIETAC Panel of Arbitrators. Those arbitrators are professionals of both common law and civil laws, and procedural patterns (inquisitorial or adversarial approach). While those arbitrators cover the fields of major jurisdictions in the world, a lot of them are also Chinese law experts or experts from other professional fields.

China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) Arbitration Rules