The First Foreign-related Civil and Commercial Court of Hainan Successfully Resolved Dispute Online over Contract for Technology Development Involving Korean Company
On 14 October 2019, a Korean company has filed a lawsuit to the First Foreign-related Civil and Commercial Court of Hainan, requesting a company in Hainan to make payments under a contract for technology development. After receiving the case files, the First Foreign-related Civil and Commercial Court of Hainan did some research and saw room for reconciliation between the litigants, so it initiated the one-stop dispute resolution mechanism. With the consent of both litigants, the case management office of the court promptly served notice of preliminary acceptance on the non-local attorney that representing the Korean company, and at the request of the litigants entrusted Hainan Mediation Centre of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (China Chamber of International Commerce) to facilitate mediation.
On 21 October, Huang Luojun, mediator specially engaged by CCPIT, arrived at the First Foreign-related Civil and Commercial Court of Hainan. Via the ODR integrated online platform for foreign-related civil and commercial disputes resolution, he started to mediate between the litigants respectively located in Guangzhou and Haikou. After logging on the ODR system via WeChat, the parties verified the litigants’ identification and authorization, listened to the claims and defence, and communicated about details of the mediation. Eventually, the litigants reached a settlement agreement and signed a mediation record with the help of the professional mediator. A video was also made to record the process. As the litigants had achieved reconciliation at the stage of case filing, the court decided to exempt the litigation costs following the spirit of the document issued by the Supreme People’s Court on promoting an integrated mechanism of dispute resolution.
The case was the first commercial case resolved by the First Foreign-related Civil and Commercial Court of Hainan by applying the “one-stop” dispute resolution mechanism and the ODR online platform for foreign-related civil and commercial disputes resolution. With the help of the innovative mechanism and technology means, the specialized section, i.e. the case management office, was encouraged to take on certain types of cases, which facilitated the operation of the integrated dispute resolution mechanism; full respect was given to the litigant’s will and the dispute was resolved at the stage of case filing, thus achieving good results in resolving litigation; the dispute resolution cycle was significantly shortened as mediation was achieved in merely half a day. The costs of litigation were exempted, which not only saved the litigants’ costs but also improved judicial quality and efficiency.
A research delegation from the Supreme People’s Court, which supervised over the building of “one-stop” integrated dispute resolution mechanism and “one-stop” litigation service center, observed the online mediation process and highly approved the efficient and convenient mediation mechanism of the court and the professionalization of the mediator.
Ever since its official founding on 29 September 2019, the First Foreign-related Civil and Commercial Court of Hainan has successfully accepted 34 foreign-related civil and commercial cases and concluded 3 of them, which were all concluded by mediation or withdrawal with the help of the integrated dispute resolution mechanism. The First Foreign-related Civil and Commercial Court of Hainan will carry on the spirit of the special economic zone and keep innovating its mechanism; it will continually optimize its integrated dispute resolution mechanism and achieve its “smart court” objective; and it will enhance the quality and efficiency of trials. Meanwhile, it will contribute to the creation of a law-governing, convenient and international business environment, and provide strong judicial support for the building of a free trade zone (port) in Hainan. The court will be an outstanding model of building the judicial public credibility of Hainan.