Aspects of Arbitration Discourse: an Insight into China’s Arbitration Law
Keywords:Arbitration discourse, China, Cultural constraints, Legislative drafting, Conciliation
AbstractThe formulation of legal norms is greatly conditioned not only by different juridical systems and drafting traditions, but also by specific linguistic features and socio-cultural aspects. The paper investigates this issue by taking into consideration provisions concerning commercial arbitration in an Asian country. The text selected for our analysis is The People’s Republic of China Arbitration Law 1994 (PRCAL, for short). This law can be considered a highly important step in the development of Chinese legislation in this field as it has had a great impact on international arbitration carried out by Chinese companies. International business exchanges with China have increased enormously over the last few years and even the recent economic recession has not slowed down this growth, making China the biggest Asian market in terms of import-export trade. As a natural consequence, this increase in business deals and contracts has brought about a rise in the number of trade disputes, with a consequent increase in arbitration proceedings. The aim of this paper is to examine the English version of PRCAL in order to highlight some of the linguistic and legal features present that betray specific cultural values. In some cases, the PRCAL text is compared to the United Nations Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, with the aim of offering a more detailed understanding of textual phenomena closely linked to differing legal and cultural traditions.
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