On 26 April 2021, Prof Weixia Gu from Hong Kong University presented her new book Dispute Resolution in China: Litigation, Arbitration, Mediation and their Interactions (Routledge, 2021). After an introduction by Prof. Gu, Prof. Matthew Erie commented and asked several questions. Prof. Gu then responded the questions by Prof. Erie and another question from the audience.
This compelling new book, Dispute Resolution in China, offers a detailed examination of the elements in the Chinese legal system and the relevant reforms to the multiplicity of approaches to civil and commercial disputes in China today. This book reveals how civil litigation, commercial arbitration, mediation, and their hybrid dispute resolution have distinctly responded to, reformed, and developed in the context of China’s transformational economic growth, societal development, and international interaction in the last two decades. It situates these developments and continued experimentation within a unique hybrid of empirical, contextual, and comparative analytical framework, while paving productive pathways towards the future.
This book argues that, rather than being a legal project, China’s civil and commercial dispute resolution system is essentially a social development project, which distinguishes the Chinese approach to civil justice reform from contemporary civil justice movements elsewhere. Among the primary methods of dispute resolution, commercial arbitration in China today uniquely transcending the traditional sociopolitical constraints, its reform has developed in favor of marketoriented considerations and shaped by China’s socio-economic dynamics and internationalization needs. By contrast, civil litigation and mediation being more instrumentalist in nature, their reform is socio-politically embedded and continues to prioritize social stability. This book also shines a fresh light on comparative assessments of topdown and bottom-up changes in China’s dispute resolution discourse, as well as on how China speaks to international dispute resolution systems.
Original and rich in its analysis, this book will be essential reading and invaluable reference tool for scholars with a focus on Chinese law, comparative and international dispute resolution, and on broader legal, institutional, economic, social, political and cultural dimensions of dispute resolution development.
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