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《国际仲裁简讯》2019年5月号 International Arbitration Newsletter May 2019

作者:中伦文德   丨  时间:2019.05.29   丨  浏览:280


香港国际仲裁中心在俄罗斯获永久仲裁机构地位


2019425日,香港国际仲裁中心成为首家在俄罗斯获永久仲裁机构地位的国际仲裁机构。


作为在俄罗斯获批准的永久仲裁机构,香港国际仲裁中心有权管理:(1)仲裁地在俄罗斯的国际争议;(2)来自俄罗斯任何特别行政区的当事方之间的争议,或在任何此类地区开展活动所达成协议项下的争议;(3)俄罗斯《联邦法》第457)、(7.1)条和《俄罗斯联邦仲裁程序法典》第225.1条规定的特定类型的企业争议,主要包括股份权属的争议,法律实体的参与者之间就其管理所达成协议项下的争议,及股票或其他证券登记及其持有者的权利、义务的相关争议等。


HKIAC Permitted to Act as A Permanent Arbitral Arbitration in Russia


On 25 April 2019, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”) became the first foreign arbitral institution that be granted permission to function as a permanent arbitral arbitration (“PAI”) Russia’s Arbitration Legislation.


As a PAI, HKIAC is authorized to administer : (i) international disputes seated in Russia; (ii) disputes between parties from any special administrative region as defined under Russian law or disputes arising from agreements to carry out activities in any such region; and (iii)certain types of corporate disputes in respect of a legal entity in Russia (Article 45(7) and (7.1) of the Federal Law and Article 225.1 of the Russian Arbitral Procedure Code) concerning ownership of stocks or shares, agreements between the participants of a legal entity concerning the management of that legal entity, and regarding the registration of rights to stocks and other securities, the exercise of their rights and discharge of other obligations etc.


香港国际仲裁中心发布2018年仲裁数据


根据香港国际仲裁中心(“HKIAC”)于今年4月发布的2018年统计数据,2018年共受理521起案件,其中,265起为仲裁案件,21起为调解案件,235起为域名争议案件。在2018年提交HKIAC265起仲裁案件中,146起为HKIAC依照HKIAC机构仲裁规则或《联合国国际贸易法委员会仲裁规则》管理的仲裁。提交HKIAC265起仲裁案件中71.7%为国际案件,即至少有一方为非香港当事人(2018年由HKIAC管理的仲裁案件中有80.7%为国际仲裁案件)。所有仲裁案件的争议金额总和达到522亿港币(约67亿美元),相比2017年的50亿美元增长了34%。由HKIAC管理的仲裁案件争议金额总和为492亿港币(约63亿美元),个案平均争议金额为3.372亿港币(约4320万美元)。共有来自40个国家或地区的当事人于2018年参与了HKIAC仲裁,这些当事人中排名前十的国家或地区为(按案件数量排列):香港、中国内地、英属维尔京群岛、美国、开曼群岛、新加坡、韩国、澳门/越南、马来西亚。


HKIAC Released 2018 Case Statistics


According to 2018 Annual Casework Report released by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC”) in April, a total of 521 cases were submitted to HKIAC in 2018, among which, 265 were arbitrations, 21 were mediations and 235 were domain name disputes. For the 265 arbitrations submitted to HKIAC in 2018, 146 were administered by HKIAC under the HKIAC Administered Arbitration Rules or the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. 71.7% of the 265 arbitrations cases submitted to HKIAC in 2018 were international in nature, i.e. at least one party was not from Hong Kong (80.7% of the administered arbitrations filed in 2018 were international cases). The total amount in dispute in all arbitration cases was HK$52.2 billion (approximately US$6.7 billion), which represented a 34% increase from US$5 billion in 2017. The total amount in dispute in all administered cases was HK$49.2 billion (approximately US$6.3 billion). The average amount in dispute in administered arbitrations was HK$337.2 million (approximately US$43.2 million). Parties from 40 jurisdictions participated in the arbitrations commenced at HKIAC in 2018, the top ten geographical origins or nationalities of these parties were: Hong Kong, Mainland China, British Virgin Islands, United States, Cayman Islands, Singapore, South Korea, Macau/Vietnam, Malaysia.


印度孟买高等法院:仲裁裁决因仲裁员曾被仲裁当事方多次指定而被法院撤销


相关法条:

印度《1996年仲裁与调解法案》(“《法案》”)第 11 (8) 条规定:“最高法院、高等法院、个人或机构在指定仲裁员前,应根据第 12 (1) 的规定,要求相关仲裁员就以下事项进行披露:(a)任何仲裁当事方在协议中所要求的仲裁员资质;及(b)任何可能影响仲裁员独立性和公正性的披露事项及其他因素。”


《法案》第 12 (1) 条规定:“(1)当某人有可能被指定为仲裁员时,他须以书面披露以下情况,(a)无论直接或间接,过去或现在,存在与任何当事方的关系,或利益关系,或与争议相关的,不论经济、业务、专业或任何类型,只要有可能导致对其的独立性和公正性产生合理怀疑;及(b)有可能会影响其对仲裁投入足够时间,特别是其在十二个月内完成整个仲裁程序的能力。解释1:关于是否导致对仲裁员的独立性和公正性产生合理怀疑的情形可参考附件5。……”


《法案》附件5的第1项规定:“仲裁员是仲裁当事方的雇员,咨询专家,顾问或与当事方在过去或现在存在业务关系。”


《法案》附件5的第14项规定:“仲裁员定期为指定其为仲裁员的一方或该方的关联公司提供建议,仲裁员或其公司从中获得重大的经济收入。”


《法案》附件5的第22项规定:“仲裁员在过去三年内已被仲裁当事方或该方的关联公司两次或多次指定为仲裁员。”

 

Raghani Tradelink Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. v HDB Financial Services Ltd. & Anr. 一案的主要争议焦点在于,在独任仲裁员已被其中一方在过去的200多起仲裁案件中指定为仲裁员的情况下,其作出的仲裁裁决是否应被撤销。


法院观点:

1) 鉴于该仲裁员已被一方当事人在之前的200多起仲裁案件中指定为仲裁员,可以认为该仲裁从相关案件中获得了重大的经济收入,且该仲裁员是由该仲裁当事方单方面指定。

2) 在本案中,已产生针对该仲裁员裁决争议的有效性和适格性的合理怀疑,因此该仲裁员本不应被列入推荐仲裁员名单。

3) 该仲裁员作出的仲裁裁决因其本身的指定违反《法条》第12条和附件5而应被认定为不合法。

综上,法院撤销了该独任仲裁员作出的仲裁裁决。


High Court of Judicature at Bombay: The Arbitration Award Has Been Set Aside on Grounds of the Arbitrator Had Been Appointed by One Arbitrating Party in Multiple Cases


Relevant Provision:


Section 11 (8) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 (“ACA”) of India provides, “The Supreme Court or, as the case may be, the High Court or the person or institution designated by such Court, before appointing an arbitrator, shall seek a disclosure in writing from the prospective arbitrator in terms of sub-section (1) of section 12, and have due regard to: (a) any qualifications required for the arbitrator by the agreement of the parties; and (b) the contents of the disclosure and other considerations as are likely to secure the appointment of an independent and impartial arbitrator.


Section 12 (1) of the ACA India provides, “(1) When a person is approached in connection with his possible appointment as an arbitrator, he shall disclose in writing any circumstances, (a) such as the existence either direct or indirect, of any past or present relationship with or interest in any of the parties or in relation to the subject-matter in dispute, whether financial, business, professional or other kind, which is likely to give rise to justifiable doubts as to his independence or impartiality; and (b) which are likely to affect his ability to devote sufficient time to the arbitration and in particular his ability to complete the entire arbitration within a period of twelve months. Explanation 1The grounds stated in the Fifth Schedule shall guide in determining whether circumstances exist which give rise to justifiable doubts as to the independence or impartiality of an arbitrator. …”


Item 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the ACA provides, “The arbitrator is an employee, consultant, advisor or has any other past or present business relationship with a party.”


Item 14 of the Fifth Schedule to the ACA provides, “The arbitrator regularly advises the appointing party or an affiliate of the appointing party, and the arbitrator or his or her firm derives a significant financial income therefrom.”


Item 22 of the Fifth Schedule to the ACA provides, “The arbitrator has within the past three years been appointed as arbitrator on two or more occasions by one of the parties or an affiliate of one of the parties.”


In Raghani Tradelink Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. v HDB Financial Services Ltd. & Anr., the key issue was whether the arbitral award made by the sole arbitrator shall be set aside, provided that such sole arbitrator had been appointed by one arbitrating party in more than 200 arbitration proceedings.


Court’s View:

The court set aside the impugned award of the sole arbitrator for the following reasons:

a) Since the arbitrator has been appointed by one arbitrating party in more than 200 cases, it would permit him to derive a significant financial income from such cases, in addition, the arbitrator was unilaterally appointed by such party.

b) In this case, there were reasonable doubts on the legal validity and competence of the arbitrator to adjudicate the dispute, thus the arbitrator ought not to have entered a reference.

c) The arbitration award shall be held illegal rendering the appointment of the arbitrator itself as illegal and contrary with the provisions of Section 12 and Fifth Schedule to the ACA.


如何在香港申请财产保全


201942日,最高人民法院和香港特别行政区政府律政司正式签署了《关于内地与香港特别行政区法院就仲裁程序相互协助保全的安排》(以下简称“《安排》”)。根据《安排》,香港仲裁程序的当事方可向相关内地人民法院申请采取财产、证据和行为保全,同样内地仲裁程序的当事方亦可向相关香港特区法院申请采取强制令及其他临时救济措施。但由于两地的法律制度和法律语言存在着明显差异;而且,与中国内地的财产保全相关规定主要集中于《民事诉讼法》及相关司法解释不同,香港的财产保全相关规定在法例中则较为分散,为便于读者能够更好地了解如何在香港申请财产保全,本期《仲裁简讯》将对香港财产保全的相关规定和程序进行简要梳理。


法院和仲裁庭均有临时救济措施的决定权


香港作为普通法司法管辖区,法院和仲裁庭均有临时救济措施的决定权。这与中国内地的现行制度存在显著差异,在大陆这项权力是法院所独有的,仲裁庭并无授予临时救济措施的权能。香港《仲裁条例》(第609章)第35条直接授予了各仲裁庭临时措施的决定权,第36条则对准予采取临时措施的条件进行了规定,“仲裁当事人请求采取临时措施的,应当使仲裁庭确信:(a)不下令采取这种措施可能造成损害,这种损害无法通过判给损害赔偿金而充分补偿,而且远远大于准予采取这种措施而可能对其所针对的当事人造成的损害;以及(b)根据索赔请求所依据的案情,请求方当事人相当有可能胜诉。对这种可能性的判定不影响仲裁庭此后作出任何裁定的自由裁量权。”但同时,仲裁庭的临时救济措施的决定权也有诸多限制,比如:这种命令不能经由单方面聆讯作出;一般不能对第三方强制执行;且不能达到如法院命令同等强度的强制执行力等。


根据《高等法院条例》(第4章)第21L条,无论在聆讯任何讼案或事宜之前、之时或之后,仲裁当事人向香港高等法院申请临时措施,如果法院认为合适,即可授予强制令或指定接管人以保全有争议的财产并保护申请人的利益。《仲裁条例》第55条也确认,仲裁庭或仲裁当事人经仲裁庭同意,可以向法院申请保全相关证据。在实践中,法院处理审核申请的速度通常比仲裁庭更快。如法院认为确属紧急情况的,申请人即可在申请当日获得资产冻结令及其他救济措施,前提是适格的法官或暂委法官有充足时间考虑其申请。此外,当仲裁庭的临时措施决定权由于申请涉及第三方或需经单方面聆讯提出而受到限制时,向法院申请临时措施的程序优势就体现了出来。但,无论仲裁当事方采取何种途径申请临时措施,法院或仲裁庭都将遵循相同原则来衡量是否应授予相关临时措施。


财产保全措施的类型


最常见的保全措施是资产冻结令,也称为玛瑞瓦禁令。该强制令可有效地限制任何人在法院管辖范围内处理和转移申请人所主张的价值范围内的资产,以确保判决将不会无财产可执行。资产冻结令通常是经仲裁庭同意后,申请人经单方面聆讯向法院申请获得。申请时申请人必须证明:(a)其具有较大的胜诉可能性(一个有胜诉机会的案件);(b)被申请人在香港拥有资产;(c)授予该强制令相对便利;以及(d)确存在如申请被拒判决将无法强制执行的风险。根据《实务指示》11.1,申请人欲向法院申请资产冻结令的,必须提供令状或原诉传票,支持单方面申请的誓章及命令草案。申请人在申请资产冻结令的同时多半亦会向法院申请资产披露令,资产披露令是一种附属于资产冻结令的辅助命令,便于确认资产的位置、种类、以及资产有没有被转让给第三方等等,以利执行。此外,根据《高等法院条例》第21M条,“在不损害第21L(1)条的原则下,原讼法庭可就符合以下描述的法律程序,藉命令委任接管人或批予临时济助(a)已在或将会在香港以外地方展开;而且(b)能产生一项可根据任何条例或普通法在香港强制执行的判决。”可以看出香港法院除了可以授予冻结香港本地资产的资产冻结令,也可在一定条件下授予全球资产冻结令,以冻结被申请人在香港境外的资产。


第二种保全措施是容许查察令,也称为安东皮勒命令。该强制令可强令被申请人允许申请人进入其所控制下的场所,检查所有有争议的文件和材料,并容许申请人扣押并确保该等文件和材料的安全保管。因此,容许查察令可以极大地帮助申请人确定资产的位置及性质,并理清相关财产的法定所有权。申请容许查察令的程序与资产冻结令相同,可经由单方面聆讯向法院申请获得。申请时申请人必须证明:(a)其具有较大的胜诉可能性;(b)如申请被拒,申请人将面临重大或实际危险;(c)证据有极大可能性被转移或毁灭;(d)容许查察令可能导致的被申请人(和他的业务)的损失不得超过不授予该强制令所造成的损害或不得与该强制令的合法目的相违背。


在实践中,鉴于保全措施申请的单方面性,申请人向法院提出申请的时间往往至关重要,因为法院授予强制令的其中一个条件是确有采取保全措施的紧迫性和必要性,因此申请人提出申请的时间越晚,则法院授予该等强制令的难度就越大。若法院认为申请人的理由足够充分,一般情况下会在申请当日即授予相关强制令。此外,申请时申请人还须支付一笔固定申请费1,045港币,至于保全担保费,对于在香港拥有一定资产或财产的申请人,法院通常只会要求申请人作出承诺,而对于资产位于香港境外的申请人,法院则可能要求申请人向法院直接支付保全担保费。另一方面,若法院认为申请人的理由不充分,或裁定该等申请未能达到法院所认定的单方面聆讯所需举证的标准,法院有权将该等申请由单方面聆讯改为各方之间的聆讯,并另行安排提讯日。如果法院裁定需要进行各方之间的聆讯,那么各当事方均都有机会阐述理由,因此过程也会非常耗时。综上,当事人单方面申请资产冻结令或其他保全措施成功与否的关键在于(i)能否使法院确信争议资产确有流失风险;(ii)该等事项确有经单方面聆讯处理的紧迫性。


目前,所有能根据香港条例或普通法在香港执行案件的当事人均能经申请获得资产冻结令、容许查察令等相关临时措施。就措施的效果而言,虽然在香港,法院和仲裁庭均有临时措施的决定权,但在被申请人不遵守命令的情况下,鉴于法院命令的强制力更高,因此向法庭申请临时措施始终是首选方案。


How to Apply for Property Preservation in Hong Kong


On April 2, 2019, the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have entered into an Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (hereinafter referred to as “the Arrangement”). Pursuant to the Arrangement, any party to arbitral proceedings in Hong Kong may apply to the relevant Mainland Chinese courts for interim measures relating to the preservation of assets, evidence and conduct. Equally, any party to arbitral proceedings in Mainland China may apply to relevant Hong Kong courts for injunctions and other interim measures. However, since the legal systems and legal languages are significantly different in mainland China and Hong Kong, and unlike mainland China where the law relating to property preservation is centralized in Civil Procedure Law and relevant judicial interpretations, in Hong Kong the provisions regarding property preservation are scattered in various ordinances, therefore, in order to help the readers to better understand how to apply for property preservation in Hong Kong, this month’s issue of International Arbitration will provide a brief introduction of the relevant regulations and procedures regarding property preservation in Hong Kong.


Ability of the Courts and Arbitral Tribunals to Grant Interim Measures


As a common law jurisdiction, the decision with regards to property preservation lies with both the courts and the arbitral tribunals in Hong Kong. This is a clear difference with the legal system in mainland China as arbitral tribunals generally have no power to grant interim measures, this power is reserved for the People’s Courts. Section 35 of the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609) directly empowers the arbitral tribunal to order interim measures. The conditions for granting interim measures are contained in Section 36, which provides, “The party requesting an interim measure shall satisfy the arbitral tribunal that: (a) harm not adequately reparable by an award of damages is likely to result if the measure is not ordered, and such harm substantially outweighs the harm that is likely to result to the party against whom the measure is directed if the measure is granted; and (b) there is a reasonable possibility that the requesting party will succeed on the merits of the claim. The determination on this possibility shall not affect the discretion of the arbitral tribunal in making any subsequent determination.” There are however a number of limitations on the arbitral tribunal’s power to order interim measures: such orders cannot be made ex parte, they will generally not be enforceable against third parties, and a tribunal generally has less coercive power as the court etc.


In accordance with section 21L of the High Court Ordinance (Cap. 4), If, whether before, or at, or after the hearing of any cause or matter, parties to an arbitration apply for interim measures from the court, which, if the court thinks fit, can grant an injunction to preserve the property in dispute and protect the interests of the applicant. This is also recognized by the Arbitration Ordinance in Section 55, which states that the arbitral tribunal, or a party with the approval of the arbitral tribunal, may request from the court to grant an order relating to the preservation of evidence. In practice, an application to the courts will typically be processed faster than an application to the arbitral tribunal. When the court is satisfied the matter is one of urgency, Mareva Injunctions and other appropriate measures can be obtained by the applicant on the same day of application, provided that the qualified judge or deputy judge has adequate time to review the application. In addition, there are certain procedural advantages when applying to the courts for interim relief when arbitral tribunal’s power is restricted, for example where third parties are involved or where it is necessary for the application to be made ex parte. Regardless of which route the arbitrating party decides on when considering an interim remedy application, the court or arbitral tribunal applies the same general principles governing the grant of the interim measure in question.


Types of Property Preservation Measures


The most common interim relief is an asset freezing order, also known as a Mareva Injunction. This type of injunction will effectively restrain any party from dealing with and removing assets, up to the value of the claim, out of the jurisdiction, so as to ensure any judgement given will not be rendered empty. A Mareva Injunction is usually obtained ex parte directly from the court with the approval of the arbitral tribunal. In order to secure the grant of the order, the applicant has to satisfy the judge that (a) his case has a good prospect of success (a good arguable case); (b) the Respondent has assets in Hong Kong; (c) the balance of convenience is in favour with granting this injunction, and (d) that there is a real risk the judgement might not be enforceable in the future if the application is refused. In accordance with Practice Direction 11.1, the applicant shall provide the court with the issue of a writ or originating summons, an affidavit in support of the ex parte application, along with the draft of the order sought. In general, the applicants who apply for an asset freezing order would also apply to the court for an asset disclosure order, which is an order ancillary to the asset freezing order, so as to identify the position or nature of the assets as well as whether the asset has been transferred to any third party etc., and ultimately to ensure the enforcement of the asset freezing order. Furthermore, pursuant to Section 21M of the High Court Ordinance, “Without prejudice to section 21L(1), the Court of First Instance may by order appoint a receiver or grant other interim relief in relation to proceedings which (a) have been or are to be commenced in a place outside Hong Kong; and (b) are capable of giving rise to a judgment which may be enforced in Hong Kong under any Ordinance or at common law.”, it can be seen that the Hong Kong courts can grant not only an asset freezing order targeting the assets inside the territory of Hong Kong, but also a global asset freezing order targeting the Respondent’s assets outside the territory of Hong Kong.


The second type of interim relief is an Anton Piller Order. This is a mandatory order from the court, compelling the Respondent to permit the claimant to enter premises under the defendant’s control, inspect all documents and materials in dispute, and to seize and remove into safe custody. Thus, an Anton Piller Order can greatly assist in determining the location or nature of assets and clarifying the legal ownership of relevant property. The procedural steps for obtaining an Anton Piller Order are the same as a Mareva injunction with the application made ex parte. In order to secure the grant of the order, the applicant has to satisfy the judge that (a) his case has a good prospect of success; (b) there is significant or actual danger to the applicant if the application was refused; (c) more than possible that evidence will be removed or destroyed; (d) the harm of this order to the Respondent (or its business) must not outweigh the harm that is likely to result if the order is not granted, or is in conflict with the ultimate object of the order.


When dealing with these preservation measures, because of their ex parte nature, the timing of a party’s application to court is often crucial, due to the reason that the court needs to be satisfied that the application is one of urgency and necessary for it to be made ex parte, therefore, the more time that passes before an application is made, the more difficult it will become to satisfy the court to grant the order. If the court is satisfied by an applicant’s arguments, under normal conditions the order shall be handed down on the same day. For the order to be granted, the applicant is required to pay the fixed filing fee of the application in the sum of HK$1,045 and give some form of security for damages. For parties that have considerable assets or property in Hong Kong, the court will more easily allow an undertaking to suffice. Parties whose assets lie out of Hong Kong will more likely be required to pay the court security for damages. On the other hand, if the court is unsatisfied by a party’s arguments, or awards that such application fails to meet the standard of proof required for ex parte hearing, then the hearing will become inter partes and a return date will be arranged. This is a vastly more time-consuming process as both sides will be given the opportunity to argue their merits of the case. For these reasons, for party’s applying ex parte for Mareva injunctions or other freezing orders, it is of crucial importance to (i) satisfy the court there is a real risk of asset dissipation; and (ii) the matter needs to be dealt with ex parte urgently.


At present, all parties to the cases, of which the judgements can be enforced under Arbitration Ordinance or the common law, can apply for asset freezing order or other interim measures in Hong Kong. Although both courts and arbitral tribunals in Hong Kong are empowered to grant interim measures, in consideration of the orders from the arbitral tribunal generally has less coercive power than the orders from the court, applying for interim measures from the courts is always the preferred solution, in case of the respondent’s disobedience of such order.