China: 谁说了算覧新加坡国际仲裁中心最新仲裁规则下之快速程序与当事人意思Ō

Last Updated: 6 January 2018
Article by John Liu and Minli Tang

最新案例

近日,上海市第一中级人民法院(下简称"上海一中院" )裁定拒绝承认与执行一份新加坡国际仲裁中心(下简称"SIAC")的仲裁裁决。上海一中院认定SIAC在当事人于仲裁条款中已明确仲裁庭应由3名仲裁员组成的前提下,仍指定独任仲裁员适用快速程序进行审理的做法构成了《纽约公约》第5条第1款第丁项下 "公断机关之组成或公断程序与各造间之协议不符"的情形,故裁定拒绝承认与执行该仲裁裁决。

值得注意的是,依据《最高人民法院关于人民法院处理与涉外仲裁及外国仲裁事项有关问题的通知》,人民法院在裁定拒绝承认和执行外国仲裁裁决之前,必须报请本辖区所属高级人民法院进行审查;如果高级人民法院同意不予执行或者拒绝承认和执行,应将其审查意见报最高人民法院。待最高人民法院答复后,方可裁定不予执行或者拒绝承认和执行。因此,虽然作出前述裁定的主体是上海一中院,却实已获得了上海市高级人民法院以及我国最高人民法院的支持答复,该裁定可看作是我国司法机关作出的权威性裁定。

本文以上述案件为引,简要分析SIAC最新的2016年版仲裁规则下之快速程序与当事人意思自治之间的关系。

SIAC 2016年版规则下之快速程序

前述案件中当事人约定适用的是SIAC 2013年版仲裁规则。本文为方便讨论,并有利于当下的实务操作,选取最新的SIAC 2016年版规则进行分析。针对快速程序, 2016年版规则在 2013年版规则的基础上,除了上调了适用快速程序的上限金额(从原本的 500万新加坡币上调至 600万新加坡币),还在原第 5条下新增了第 5.35.4条,就"快速程序"作出了更加详细的规定。其中,第5.1条罗列了当事人可申请使用快速程序的三种情况:

  1. 总争议金额(包括请求及反请求,以及任何可抵消抗辩)不超过600万新加坡币,或
  2. 当事人约定适用快速程序,或
  3. 遇异常紧急情况。

从第5.1条下abc三款之间的并列关系可知,SIAC规则下,当事人自行约定使用快速程序只是三种可以申请使用快速程序情形下的一种,在第 ac款下,即使双方当事人没有事先约定使用快速程序,一方当事人仍可提出申请。

第5.2条进一步规定,当事人将申请提交主簿后,院长在考虑各方当事人的观点及案情后,可决定是否使用快速程序,如果使用则:

  1. 主簿可以缩短本规则的任何期限;
  2. 案件由独任仲裁员审理,但院长另行决定的除外;
  3. 仲裁庭在征询当事人意见后,可决定是否开庭审理或仅书面审理;
  4. 仲裁庭应当在组庭后6个月内作出最终判决,但主簿在例外情况下可延长期限;
  5. 仲裁庭可简述裁决理由,但当事人约定无须任何理由的除外。

即,基于一方当事人的申请,院长在综合考虑后仍旧可以直接决定使用快速程序(即使另一方当事人反对)。此外,对比第5.2条下的第b、d、e款的条文设计,不难看出, 针对不同情况能作出例外决定的主体不同就是否由独任仲裁员审理,只有院长可决定除外情况;审限的延长由主簿决定;而就裁决是否需要理由,则当事人有权另行约定

值得特别注意的是,2016年版本下特别增加了第5.3条,进一步规定:"当事人如果同意依照本规则进行仲裁,当案件根据本第5条规定的'快速程序'进行仲裁时,则第5.2条的规定应被视为当事人已经同意予以适用, 即使其仲裁协议中有相反的约定"。 而2013年版本中没有该明确排除当事人相反约定的条文。 该新增条文可看作是 SIAC对快速程序的扩大使用,明确该规则下有关快速程序的规定可凌驾于当事人约定之上。

与第5.3条类似的规定还见于第1.1条:"凡当事人约定将争议提交新加坡国际仲裁中心进行仲裁或者按照新加坡国际仲裁中心的仲裁规则进行仲裁的,均视为当事人已同意按照本规则进行仲裁......"。

基于上述条款,极有可能出现的情形是即使双方当事人原本没有约定使用快速仲裁程序,且约定仲裁庭由 3人组成,当一方当事人基于第 5.1条的第a 款或第c款提出申请,且院长决定使用快速程序后,案件仍可由独任仲裁员审理。

上述结果在当事人使用 SIAC提供的示范条款作为仲裁条款时会更加容易被法院认可,该示范条款下明确" ...rules are deemed to be incorporated by reference in this clause",即该仲裁规则并入本仲裁条款,应被视为本仲裁条款的一部分。

评析及实务建议

以上是基于对SIAC 2016年版规则本身的全文解读而可推论出的结论。回到文章一开始所提及的案例,如果当事人约定适用的是SIAC 2016年版本,且使用其示范条款,则结果非常有可能出现翻转。

当然,在实践中,业内人士及不同国家的法院对于当事人的意思自治与仲裁机构通过仲裁条款而获得的对仲裁程序的掌控权(Party Autonomy vs Institutional Control)之间的关系仍存在不同的看法。 有些观点认为,当事人意思自治是仲裁的基石性原则,是不可让渡的,即使当事人约定使用某一仲裁机构的规则,该规则仍不可超越当事人意思自治覧如果当事人就规则中的规定作出了相反约定,则应以当事人的约定为准。

然而,也有不少观点认为 当事人的意思自治和仲裁机构的掌控权并不当然对立,这是因为在当事人约定使用某仲裁规则时,就已是当事人的自由决定,在仲裁过程中遵循该规则的具体规定符合当事人的意思自治,两者并无冲突。在与前述上海一中院裁定的案件之案情极为相似的一个案例 W Company v Dutch Company and Dutch Holding Company[2012] 1 SAA 97 (W Company)中,当事人也事先约定仲裁庭应由3名仲裁员组成,并基于该约定对快速仲裁程序下独任仲裁员的管辖权提出异议。针对此异议,该独任仲裁员认为:"The parties chose the SIAC Rules to govern the arbitration and they accepted the entirety of the SIAC Rules including the Expedited Procedure in Rule 5 together with the powers that the Rule reserves to the Chairman and Registrar of the SIAC to administer and guide the proceedings. There is no derogation from party autonomy and it is precisely the parties' choice of the SIAC Rules that requires acceptance of the Chairman's decision."即,当事人约定使用SIAC规则,即为同意使用包括快速程序规则在内的全部仲裁规则,这并没有减损当事人的意思自治,而恰恰正是当事人的自主决定。该观点也被新加坡高院在AQZ v ARA [2015] SGHC 49一案中加以肯定。值得注意的是,该两件案件发生的时候,SIAC 2016年版规则尚未颁布,即,在该两件案件下,即使没有前述第5.3条的规定,仲裁员/法院仍旧认为规则下有关快速程序的规定优先于当事人的相反约定。

可见,目前看来,有关SIAC规则下,当双方当事人已约定仲裁庭应由3名仲裁员组成时,是否仍旧可以使用快速仲裁程序,特别是能否基于快速程序而由独任仲裁员审理案件,还没有统一的权威观点。在最新的2016年版规则中新添第5.3条或许就是SIAC为明确快速程序的优先性而特别增加的。 因此,就现行2016 年版规则本身的解读,可能更倾向于认为院长有权决定在快速程序下由独任仲裁员审理案件,即使双方当事人在仲裁条款 /协议中约定仲裁庭应由 3名仲裁员组成。不过,就该最新规则的具体适用问题,尚不明确,也不排除在不同法域之间可能存在大相径庭的裁判。

至于当事人双方能否约定排除 SIAC规则下快速程序的有关规定,独任仲裁员在W Company一案中指出的:"It may be otherwise if the parties had stipulated that there shall be 3 arbitrators even if the proceedings were under the Expedited Procedure...",即,如果当事人想在快速程序下也排除独任仲裁员适用,则在仲裁协议中应明确约定即使在使用快速程序时,仲裁庭仍应由3名仲裁员组成。

不过,上述独任仲裁员所推荐的约定排除方法在最新的2016年版规则下仍旧存疑,因为 其新增的第5.3 条明确规定当案件适用快速程序时,第 5.2条的规定应被视为当事人已经同意予以适用,即使仲裁协议中有相反的约定覧则当事人约定快速程序下仍应当由 3名仲裁员组成仲裁庭的约定与第 5.2条第b 款(独任仲裁员)的规定相反,该相反约定极有可能依据第 5.3条被排除适用。

与SIAC 2016年版规则类似的还有 ICC 2017年版规则。该规则下的第30条及附件六就快速程序的适用作出了具体规定。第30.1条也明确了快速程序优先于当事人的相反约定:" 当事人同意按照仲裁规则进行仲裁,即同意本第 30条和附件六中所述的快速程序规则(统称"快速程序规则")应优先于仲裁协议的任何相反条款"。

不过,较之SIAC 2016年版的规定,ICC 2017年版规则就当事人能否约定完全排除快速程序的适用规定得非常明确。SIAC 2016年版规则下,虽然第5.1条第b项明确在当事人约定使用快速程序的前提下,当事人可以申请使用,但第5.1条中的三种情形并未明确如果当事人已经明确约定不适用快速程序时,一方当事人能否仍基于第a(总争议金额不超过600万新加坡币)款、第c款(遇异常紧急情况)提出申请。相比之下, ICC 2017年版的规则非常明确:" 当事人已同意不采用快速程序规则 "时,快速程序不予以适用(第30.3条第b款,其他两类不适用快速程序的情形为:a. 根据仲裁规则达成的仲裁协议是在该快速程序规则生效之日前达成。c.根据一方当事人在仲裁庭成立前提出的要求,或由仲裁院自行提出动议,仲裁院认定在此类情况下适用快速程序规则并不恰当)。

基于上述分析不难看出,有些仲裁机构的规则下就快速程序的规定与严格意义上的当事人意思自治存在的一定冲突,故而当事人在考虑是否选择某仲裁机构的仲裁规则时应谨慎考虑,在完整研读规则具体条文后再行决定。对于一些看似模棱两可、并不明确的规定,则建议寻求专业意见,以免当争议发生后再兴师动众通过提出管辖权异议的方式进行论辩。

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Previously published in Lexology - 22 August 2017

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