Susan Finder：相逢一笑是前缘 ——我与特区国际仲裁的点滴
Susan Finder is a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the School of Transnational Law of Peking University. She is also a member of the International Commercial Expert Committee of China's Supreme People's Court and a panel arbitrator of SCIA.
My Story of International Arbitration at SCIA
My story of international arbitration at SCIA is likely one of the more unusual ones. I have been involved with SCIA for over thirty years, and have been privileged to know many of the former leaders. SCIA has consistently been one of the most, if not the most open and internationalized Chinese arbitral institutions, taking full advantage of being in China’s most innovative and open cities.
I was privileged to come to know SCIA, then the Shenzhen Commission of CIETAC through Anthony Neoh, S.C., who brought me along to one of his frequent visits. I was then a lecturer in the Law Department of the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong. I have since been involved with SCIA at every stage of my career ever since, in teaching at what is now the City University of Hong Kong, a lawyer at Freshfields, Winston & Strawn, editor at Practical Law, and now teaching at the School of Transnational Law of Peking University.
In the early days, the office was then in Tongjian Building, and the rooms were not then fully air conditioned. I recall the hearing room becoming a nap room during the Shenzhen hot summers. At the time, (the late) Dong Yougan and Zhou Huandong led the office. Dong had studied law before 1949 and he overcame many difficult years of suffering during the Cultural Revolution to head the Shenzhen Commission. It was an appropriate role for a professional and honorable man. Zhou Huandong was uniquely able to spot talent. The staff of the Secretariat at the time included many outstanding people who have risen to be senior members of SCIA, such as Guo Xiaowen (retired secretary general), Zeng Yinyan, Guan Li, and many others who I remember very fondly. Others have left Shenzhen and the Arbitration Commission but remain major contributors to Chinese arbitration, by serving as sole or panel arbitrators in difficult cases. Among them are Li Hong and Chen Luming, now outstanding lawyers in Shanghai. I recall some staff being able to intern in Hong Kong, giving them a practical idea of how another jurisdiction operates in practice. One of those Secretariat staff included Xu Sanqiao, now an outstanding lawyer in Shenzhen. When Mr. Dong retired and went back to Beijing, Mr. Xiao Zhiming succeeded him. Mr. Xiao as a leader from Shenzhen continued the internationalized and open tradition.
Thereafter Mr. Guo Xiaowen became head of the Commission, making a major contribution to Chinese arbitration - establishing SCIA as a statutory body with independent status. His clear thinking, deep consideration of the way a foreign model could be adjusted to fit Chinese realities, and skillful navigation of procedural requirements were truly impressive. It is at that time I got to know Liu Xiaochun better. The model of SCIA as a statutory body is an important guarantor of its autonomy, ability to innovate, and be an international force.
As many people know, in the past seven years I have been writing about the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in an English language blog, giving my perspective on its developments and am now a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the School of Transnational Law of Peking University. In that role I have been honored to help our students understand international arbitration through SCIA, and I am glad that some of our students are making important contributions to the work of SCIA. As a SCIA arbitrator, I have been privileged to be invited to arbitrator training and major professional events sponsored by SCIA. It is thanks to these events that I have been able to learn about cutting edge issues involving the Chinese judiciary and arbitration, and become acquainted with some outstanding members of China’s judiciary, including several senior judges of the SPC, judges of the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court, and judges of the Qianhai Cooperation Zone People’s Court. I was glad to see that Liu Xiaochun was one of the representatives of Chinese arbitration commissions who was invited to attend the first meeting of the SPC’s International Commercial Expert Committee, and SCIA is one of the institutions cooperating with the SPC and China International Commercial Court (CICC).
SCIA has consistently been one of the most, if not the most open and internationalized Chinese arbitral institutions, secured by its statutory body status, taking full advantage of being in China’s most innovative and open cities, attracting outstanding arbitrators from China and abroad to join its panel.
Congratulations to SCIA and may it go from success to success!
我经由梁定邦资深大律师的介绍，得以有机会了解深国仲——当时还叫中国国际经济贸易仲裁委员会深圳分会。梁先生彼时常往返于深港之间，我在香港城市理工学院法律系做讲师的时候曾随梁先生到过一次深国仲。从那时起，不管是我后来在香港城市大学任教，在富而德（Freshfields）律师事务所和温斯顿（Winston & Strawn）律师事务所做律师，在《实用法律年鉴》（Practical Law）当编辑，还是如今在北京大学国际法学院任教，我职业生涯的每一个阶段都与深国仲紧密相连。