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Internationalization as a Leap of Faith: Arbitration Reforms in China and the Challenges of Implementation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 September 2022

Kai-Shen Huang*
China Institute for Socio-Legal Studies, KoGuan School of Law, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai


Recent years have witnessed an increasing trend in Chinese arbitration reform that emulates international norms and practices. This article examines some of these key reform measures and major challenges to their implementation. It explores in both legal and practical terms why most of these reform techniques may remain largely ineffective, showing that engaging in international norms and standards in China can be highly challenging due to their potential illegality, the general lack of institutional capacity to sustain them, and the conflicts of local ideas about the purposes of arbitration. It is thus doubtful whether commitment to satisfying the formal requirements prescribed by the legal reforms would often prevail. When it does, it is questionable whether this form of commitment would become prevalent and how it could proceed in a sustainable and coherent manner from a practical perspective.

Research Article
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Asian Journal of Law and Society

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