Fiona D'Souza


This Perspective explores the reality behind the headlines as well as more recent efforts to improve the situation. By examining legal developments and analyzing the obstacles to enforcement, this Perspective will highlight how the issues are largely symptomatic of a developing legal system--a system struggling to translate theory into practice as it attempts to bridge the gap between traditional Chinese and Western expectations of adjudication. Part I outlines the history and background of arbitration in China, while Part II considers the current state of the law, with a particular focus on recent legislative developments. Part III examines the institutional features of the legal and political system that present the greatest obstacles to the enforcement of arbitration awards. Part IV identifies those areas most in need of change that are both substantive and institutional in nature. Finally, Part V examines the key expectations of, and on, the system, and whether China may be defying what many perceive as the usual correlation between foreign direct investment and the rule of law, before drawing final conclusions.