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Economic dispute resolution by administrative organs and courts in China : from a transparency perspective Liu, Yanyan

Abstract

The increasingly dynamic interplay between national legal construction and normative international practice is shaping China's ongoing legal reforms. Transparency, a concept which has become so widespread that it has reached an exalted status in the arena of multilateral trade, now goes well beyond international trade circles and has become a buzzword in China since its accession to the WTO. In entering the WTO, China is taking on many very significant obligations. Certainly one of the most challenging is the obligation of greater transparency. To varying degrees, the core definition of transparency, though not yet widely enforced due to the friction between it and some of China's cultural components, has gone to many aspects of China's current legal reforms. Accordingly, China's compliance with the WTO must extend beyond general principles and performance in government regulations generally, to include compliance with WTO norms on dispute resolution. Dispute resolution is essential to the process of empowering economic actors to seek enforcement of substantive norms of law and the government regulations. This thesis therefore singles out transparency with respect to business-related dispute resolution, trying to look into how China's transparency obligation improves its rule of law in the dimension of economic dispute resolution. Notably, all possibilities of economic dispute resolution include negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation. However, those involving the exercise of the power and resulting in binding force on the parties merit special attention in current China as a series of obligations under the WTO impose on it and one of them is transparency which is supposed to run through all dispute resolution mechanisms involving the state power. Hence, this thesis, from a transparency perspective, focuses on economic disputes resolved by administrative organs and judicial bodies. It concludes with a discussion of institutional and cultural approaches that might prove useful in seeking greater transparency in economic dispute resolution by administrative organs and judicial bodies.

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