Draft Law Makes Substantive Amendments to the Rules in Connection with Interim Measures in Arbitration
Interim measures, also known as "interim relief", refer to temporary measures that are granted prior to the final arbitral award. Examples of common interim measures include freezing orders and anti-suit injunction orders. Many major arbitration rules in the common law world and European countries provide that arbitral tribunals have the power to grant interim measures during the arbitration, while emergency arbitrators have the power to grant pre-arbitration interim measures.
China has thus far adopted a different approach. Under the current law, the power to grant interim measures is vested in the courts rather than tribunals or emergency arbitrators. In addition, with some limited exceptions, the Chinese courts will not grant interim measures to assist arbitrations seated in foreign jurisdictions (known as "foreign arbitrations"), but only arbitrations seated in China, comprising pure domestic arbitrations and foreign-related arbitrations.
On 30 July 2021, the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China published the Arbitration Law of the People's Republic of China (Amended Version) (Draft for Comments) (the "Draft Arbitration Law") for public consultation. The Draft Arbitration Law contains proposals for substantive amendments to the current regime in China concerning interim measures in arbitration and introduces, for the first time, the regime of "emergency arbitrators" in China.
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