Meet the eight judges that have been appointed to the BRI’s two China International Commercial Courts
The eight judges who will lead two courts, established this year to solve disputes along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have been announced. These eight judges are expected to have to deal with some significant geopolitical disputes as the BRI continues to expand.
The Supreme People’s Court in Beijing ruled that disputes arising from the BRI will be handled by two new China International Commercial Courts (CICC), previously known as the Belt and Road Courts. One, based in Shenzhen will deal with disputes along the maritime Belt, whilst the other, based in Xian, will deal with the overland Road.
Of the eight judges, all are Han Chinese, and are aged between 39 and 59 years old with two women among them. All appointees are Supreme People’s Court Judges, and all but one went to university in Beijing. Zhang Yongjia is the only judge who hasn’t studied overseas, with three of the judges having spent time studying in the UK.
Although there were considerations to make the courts sessions held in English (as they are in other international commercial courts in Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Amsterdam and Frankfurt), the CICC will be held in Chinese.
The number of disputes over the BRI is expected to rise over time. “Typically, we see a deal struck one year and, between two and five years later, that’s when we see disputes, so that’s when we start to see the cases come out of these transactions,” said Sarah Grimmer, secretary general of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC).