China: 关于仲裁协议效力司法审查制度的思考

Last Updated: 5 August 2019
Article by Kevin Shien
Most Read Contributor in China, August 2019

申请人此时提起仲裁条款效力的司法审查,无疑是为了拖延仲裁案件的审理时间,一旦人民法院正式受理被申请人的异议之诉,则仲裁案将被中止审理。 就仲裁协议效力的司法审查,我们梳理了有关仲裁协议效力的司法审查的程序情况,并对仲裁协议效力的司法审查制度的完善提出建议。

一、提起仲裁条款司法审查的主体

《民事诉讼法》第一百二十三条规定:"人民法院应当保障当事人依照法律规定享有的起诉权利。对符合本法第一百一十九条的起诉,必须受理。符合起诉条件的,应当在七日内立案,并通知当事人;不符合起诉条件的,应当在七日内作出裁定书,不予受理;原告对裁定不服的,可以提起上诉"。

根据《民事诉讼法》第一百二十四条、《民事诉讼法解释》第二百一十五条的规定,依照法律规定,双方当事人达成书面仲裁协议申请仲裁、不得向人民法院起诉的,人民法院应告知原告向仲裁机构申请仲裁。但仲裁条款或者仲裁协议不成立、无效、失效、内容不明确无法执行的除外。

《中华人民共和国仲裁法》第二十条规定,事人对仲裁协议的效力有异议的,可以请求仲裁委员会作出决定或者请求人民法院作出裁定。一方请求仲裁委员会作出决定,另一方请求人民法院作出裁定的,由人民法院裁定。当事人对仲裁协议的效力有异议,应当在仲裁庭首次开庭前提出。

最高人民法院颁布的《关于对上海市高级人民法院等就涉及中国国际经济贸易仲裁委员会及其原分会等仲裁机构所作仲裁裁决司法审查案件请示问题的批复》,该批复明确规定:"仲裁案件的申请人向仲裁机构申请仲裁的同时请求仲裁机构对案件的管辖权作出决定,仲裁机构作出确认仲裁协议有效、其对案件享有管辖权的决定后,被申请人在仲裁庭首次开庭前向人民法院提起申请确认仲裁协议效力之诉的,人民法院应予受理并作出裁定"。

《最高人民法院关于当事人对仲裁协议的效力提出异议由哪一级人民法院管辖问题的批复》规定,当事人协议选择国内仲裁机构仲裁后,一方对仲裁协议的效力有异议请求人民法院作出裁定的,由该仲裁委员会所在地的中级人民法院管辖。当事人对仲裁委员会没有约定或者约定不明的,由被告所在地的中级人民法院管辖。

因此,仲裁协议的任何一方都有权在仲裁庭首次开庭前向法院申请认定仲裁协议无效,法院应当对该申请是否符合条件进行审查,无论审查结果如何,都必将延长仲裁案件的审理期限。

二、仲裁协议效力司法审查的影响

最高人民法院1998年发布的《最高人民法院关于确认仲裁协议效力几个问题的批复》规定:"一方当事人就合同纠纷或者其他财产权益纠纷申请仲裁,另一方当事人对仲裁协议的效力有异议,请求人民法院确认仲裁协议无效并就合同纠纷或者其他财产权益纠纷起诉的,人民法院受理后应当通知仲裁机构中止仲裁。人民法院依法作出仲裁协议有效或者无效的裁定后,应当将裁定书副本送达仲裁机构,由仲裁机构根据人民法院的裁定恢复仲裁或者撤销仲裁案件"。 根据上文可知,一旦协议的一方向法院申请确认仲裁协议无效,则会产生仲裁案件被终止的影响。但值得注意的是,若是当事人选择向仲裁机构申请仲裁条款的效力审查,则该审查并不会影响仲裁案件的审理。

三、法院对仲裁协议司法审查的期限和处理方式

(一)审查期限

从目前国内的立法情况来看,《仲裁法》及最人民法院的司法解释并未对法院审查仲裁协议的期限进行限定。但有少数地区对仲裁协议效力的审查期限进行了限定。如江苏省高级人民法院颁布的苏高法审委〔2010〕11号文明确规定法院应在立案之日起两个月内审结仲裁司法审查案件,并明确仲裁司法审查案件实行一审终审。

但通常情况下,法院对仲裁协议司法审查的期限会在三个月内审结。但并不排除个别法院对仲裁协议效力的司法审查超过三个月或更长时间的可能性。例如,在浙江逸盛石化有限公司、英威达技术有限公司等申请确认仲裁协议效力"案件中,仲裁被申请人以仲裁条款中"Thearbitration shall take place at CIETAC Beijing, P. R.China"的内容是关于仲裁地点的约定而非仲裁机构的约定为由向法院申请确认仲裁协议无效,法院于2012年10月立案受理,直至2014年3月才作出驳回的裁定[1]。

(二)审查方式

在法院的审查方式上,根据《最高人民法院关于适用<中华人民共和国仲裁法>若干问题的解释》第15条只规定:"人民法院审理仲裁协议效力确认案件,应当组成合议庭进行审查,并询问当事人"。

根据最高人民法院2017年公布的《最高人民法院关于仲裁司法审查案件报核问题的有关规定》(以下称"《有关规定》"),涉及确认仲裁协议无效的,有管辖权的法院不得自行作出裁定,还应根据情况向上级法院报送核查。 《有关规定》第二条规定:"各中级人民法院或者专门人民法院办理涉外涉港澳台仲裁司法审查案件,经审查拟认定仲裁协议无效,不予执行或者撤销我国内地仲裁机构的仲裁裁决,不予认可和执行香港特别行政区、澳门特别行政区、台湾地区仲裁裁决,不予承认和执行外国仲裁裁决,应当向本辖区所属高级人民法院报核;高级人民法院经审查拟同意的,应当向最高人民法院报核。待最高人民法院审核后,方可依最高人民法院的审核意见作出裁定。各中级人民法院或者专门人民法院办理非涉外涉港澳台仲裁司法审查案件,经审查拟认定仲裁协议无效,不予执行或者撤销我国内地仲裁机构的仲裁裁决,应当向本辖区所属高级人民法院报核;待高级人民法院审核后,方可依高级人民法院的审核意见作出裁定。"

《有关规定》第三条规定:"本规定第二条第二款规定的非涉外涉港澳台仲裁司法审查案件,高级人民法院经审查拟同意中级人民法院或者专门人民法院认定仲裁协议无效,不予执行或者撤销我国内地仲裁机构的仲裁裁决,在下列情形下,应当向最高人民法院报核,待最高人民法院审核后,方可依最高人民法院的审核意见作出裁定:(一)仲裁司法审查案件当事人住所地跨省级行政区域;(二)以违背社会公共利益为由不予执行或者撤销我国内地仲裁机构的仲裁裁决。"

(三)司法审查裁定的生效

根据最高人民法院2017年公布的《最高人民法院关于审理仲裁司法审查案件若干问题的规定》(以下称"《若干问题的规定》")第二十条至之规定"人民法院在仲裁司法审查案件中作出的裁定,除不予受理、驳回申请、管辖权异议的裁定外,一经送达即发生法律效力。当事人申请复议、提出上诉或者申请再审的,人民法院不予受理,但法律和司法解释另有规定的除外。"

通过上文可以看出,仲裁协议效力的司法审查一般不存在审理期限上的刚性约束,因此,审理期限的不确定会造成仲裁案件长期停滞,损害未提起司法审查一方当事人的利益。但对于这一方当事人比较有利的是,一旦法院认定仲裁协议有效,则该裁定一经送达即生效。《若干问题的规定》未给对方当事人提起上诉的权利。仲裁的高效性是当事人选择通过仲裁方式解决纠纷的一个重要原因,如果在仲裁司法审查案件中设置过多的复议、上诉、再审等程序,使仲裁结果长期处于不确定的状态,将导致仲裁解决纠纷的高效性这一优势荡然无存,也与《仲裁法》第九条规定的仲裁一裁终局原则相违背 2

四、对仲裁协议效力的司法审查程序的反思

近期我们在代理某一《保证合同》的仲裁案件时,案件的被申请人就《保证合同》中仲裁条款的效力向法院提出了司法审查申请。综合案件情况,我们可以肯定的是,被申请人此时提起仲裁条款效力的司法审查,无疑是为了拖延仲裁案件的审理时间,一旦人民法院正式受理被申请人的异议之诉,则仲裁案将被中止审理。

就仲裁协议效力的司法审查,我们梳理了有关仲裁协议效力的司法审查的程序情况,并对仲裁协议效力的司法审查制度的完善提出建议。

一、提起仲裁条款司法审查的主体

《民事诉讼法》第一百二十三条规定:"人民法院应当保障当事人依照法律规定享有的起诉权利。对符合本法第一百一十九条的起诉,必须受理。符合起诉条件的,应当在七日内立案,并通知当事人;不符合起诉条件的,应当在七日内作出裁定书,不予受理;原告对裁定不服的,可以提起上诉"。

根据《民事诉讼法》第一百二十四条、《民事诉讼法解释》第二百一十五条的规定,依照法律规定,双方当事人达成书面仲裁协议申请仲裁、不得向人民法院起诉的,人民法院应告知原告向仲裁机构申请仲裁。但仲裁条款或者仲裁协议不成立、无效、失效、内容不明确无法执行的除外。

《中华人民共和国仲裁法》第二十条规定,事人对仲裁协议的效力有异议的,可以请求仲裁委员会作出决定或者请求人民法院作出裁定。一方请求仲裁委员会作出决定,另一方请求人民法院作出裁定的,由人民法院裁定。当事人对仲裁协议的效力有异议,应当在仲裁庭首次开庭前提出。

最高人民法院颁布的《关于对上海市高级人民法院等就涉及中国国际经济贸易仲裁委员会及其原分会等仲裁机构所作仲裁裁决司法审查案件请示问题的批复》,该批复明确规定:"仲裁案件的申请人向仲裁机构申请仲裁的同时请求仲裁机构对案件的管辖权作出决定,仲裁机构作出确认仲裁协议有效、其对案件享有管辖权的决定后,被申请人在仲裁庭首次开庭前向人民法院提起申请确认仲裁协议效力之诉的,人民法院应予受理并作出裁定"。

《最高人民法院关于当事人对仲裁协议的效力提出异议由哪一级人民法院管辖问题的批复》规定,当事人协议选择国内仲裁机构仲裁后,一方对仲裁协议的效力有异议请求人民法院作出裁定的,由该仲裁委员会所在地的中级人民法院管辖。当事人对仲裁委员会没有约定或者约定不明的,由被告所在地的中级人民法院管辖。

因此,仲裁协议的任何一方都有权在仲裁庭首次开庭前向法院申请认定仲裁协议无效,法院应当对该申请是否符合条件进行审查,无论审查结果如何,都必将延长仲裁案件的审理期限。

二、仲裁协议效力司法审查的影响

最高人民法院1998年发布的《最高人民法院关于确认仲裁协议效力几个问题的批复》规定:"一方当事人就合同纠纷或者其他财产权益纠纷申请仲裁,另一方当事人对仲裁协议的效力有异议,请求人民法院确认仲裁协议无效并就合同纠纷或者其他财产权益纠纷起诉的,人民法院受理后应当通知仲裁机构中止仲裁。人民法院依法作出仲裁协议有效或者无效的裁定后,应当将裁定书副本送达仲裁机构,由仲裁机构根据人民法院的裁定恢复仲裁或者撤销仲裁案件"。

根据上文可知,一旦协议的一方向法院申请确认仲裁协议无效,则会产生仲裁案件被终止的影响。但值得注意的是,若是当事人选择向仲裁机构申请仲裁条款的效力审查,则该审查并不会影响仲裁案件的审理。

三、法院对仲裁协议司法审查的期限和处理方式

(一)审查期限

从目前国内的立法情况来看,《仲裁法》及最人民法院的司法解释并未对法院审查仲裁协议的期限进行限定。但有少数地区对仲裁协议效力的审查期限进行了限定。如江苏省高级人民法院颁布的苏高法审委〔2010〕11号文明确规定法院应在立案之日起两个月内审结仲裁司法审查案件,并明确仲裁司法审查案件实行一审终审。

但通常情况下,法院对仲裁协议司法审查的期限会在三个月内审结。但并不排除个别法院对仲裁协议效力的司法审查超过三个月或更长时间的可能性。例如,在浙江逸盛石化有限公司、英威达技术有限公司等申请确认仲裁协议效力"案件中,仲裁被申请人以仲裁条款中"Thearbitration shall take place at CIETAC Beijing, P. R.China"的内容是关于仲裁地点的约定而非仲裁机构的约定为由向法院申请确认仲裁协议无效,法院于2012年10月立案受理,直至2014年3月才作出驳回的裁定 1

(二)审查方式

在法院的审查方式上,根据《最高人民法院关于适用<中华人民共和国仲裁法>若干问题的解释》第15条只规定:"人民法院审理仲裁协议效力确认案件,应当组成合议庭进行审查,并询问当事人"。

根据最高人民法院2017年公布的《最高人民法院关于仲裁司法审查案件报核问题的有关规定》(以下称"《有关规定》"),涉及确认仲裁协议无效的,有管辖权的法院不得自行作出裁定,还应根据情况向上级法院报送核查。

《有关规定》第二条规定:"各中级人民法院或者专门人民法院办理涉外涉港澳台仲裁司法审查案件,经审查拟认定仲裁协议无效,不予执行或者撤销我国内地仲裁机构的仲裁裁决,不予认可和执行香港特别行政区、澳门特别行政区、台湾地区仲裁裁决,不予承认和执行外国仲裁裁决,应当向本辖区所属高级人民法院报核;高级人民法院经审查拟同意的,应当向最高人民法院报核。待最高人民法院审核后,方可依最高人民法院的审核意见作出裁定。各中级人民法院或者专门人民法院办理非涉外涉港澳台仲裁司法审查案件,经审查拟认定仲裁协议无效,不予执行或者撤销我国内地仲裁机构的仲裁裁决,应当向本辖区所属高级人民法院报核;待高级人民法院审核后,方可依高级人民法院的审核意见作出裁定。"

《有关规定》第三条规定:"本规定第二条第二款规定的非涉外涉港澳台仲裁司法审查案件,高级人民法院经审查拟同意中级人民法院或者专门人民法院认定仲裁协议无效,不予执行或者撤销我国内地仲裁机构的仲裁裁决,在下列情形下,应当向最高人民法院报核,待最高人民法院审核后,方可依最高人民法院的审核意见作出裁定:(一)仲裁司法审查案件当事人住所地跨省级行政区域;(二)以违背社会公共利益为由不予执行或者撤销我国内地仲裁机构的仲裁裁决。"

(三)司法审查裁定的生效

根据最高人民法院2017年公布的《最高人民法院关于审理仲裁司法审查案件若干问题的规定》(以下称"《若干问题的规定》")第二十条至之规定"人民法院在仲裁司法审查案件中作出的裁定,除不予受理、驳回申请、管辖权异议的裁定外,一经送达即发生法律效力。当事人申请复议、提出上诉或者申请再审的,人民法院不予受理,但法律和司法解释另有规定的除外。"

通过上文可以看出,仲裁协议效力的司法审查一般不存在审理期限上的刚性约束,因此,审理期限的不确定会造成仲裁案件长期停滞,损害未提起司法审查一方当事人的利益。但对于这一方当事人比较有利的是,一旦法院认定仲裁协议有效,则该裁定一经送达即生效。《若干问题的规定》未给对方当事人提起上诉的权利。仲裁的高效性是当事人选择通过仲裁方式解决纠纷的一个重要原因,如果在仲裁司法审查案件中设置过多的复议、上诉、再审等程序,使仲裁结果长期处于不确定的状态,将导致仲裁解决纠纷的高效性这一优势荡然无存,也与《仲裁法》第九条规定的仲裁一裁终局原则相违背[2]。

四、对仲裁协议效力的司法审查程序的反思

司法实践中,存在不少将仲裁协议效力的司法审查作为延长相关仲裁案件审理期限的仲裁策略,造成仲裁协议效力司法审查制度的滥用。我们研究的案例表明,当事人提起仲裁协议效力司法审查的理由五花八门。例如,在北京中润置和投资管理有限公司与廊坊市兴鸿商城管理有限公司申请确认仲裁协议效力一案中,申请人认为"协商不成的由可向北京仲裁委员会提起仲裁"中"由可"二字不能理解为双方当事人同意接受仲裁,因而申请人请求法院确认仲裁协议无效;在惠州仲恺创业广场发展有限公司与亚太(集团)会计师事务所有限公司深圳分所申请确认仲裁协议效力一案中,申请人认为合同无法定代表人或授权代表的签名、该合同的签订是否是其的真实意思表示无法确定为由,请求法院确认仲裁协议无效;在毕强诉上海沪颐建筑装饰有限公司申请确认仲裁协议效力一案中,申请人认为仲裁协议经过认为修改,因而并不是其真实意思表示,从而要求法院确认仲裁协议无效;在上海阜仕教育科技有限公司诉上海市室内装潢工程有限公司申请确认仲裁协议效力一案中,申请人认为"上海市仲裁委员会"描述的不足以使申请人确定仲裁机构,从而要求法院确认仲裁协议无效。

仲裁协议的一方一旦成功启动仲裁协议效力的司法审查,则相关的仲裁案件会被终止审理,等待法院对仲裁协议的效力作出裁定。此外,当事人提起仲裁协议效力司法审查的门槛低,仅需具备一定的理由在仲裁庭首次开庭前作出即可,且当事人的诉讼成本也十分低。综合上述原因,仲裁协议效力的司法审查极易被滥用。

因此,我们认为有必要对仲裁协议效力的司法审查制度进行进一步完善。首先,应当提高当事人提起司法审查的门槛。国际商事仲裁实践中,为防止当事人滥用异议权、拖延仲裁程序,通常做法是要求当事人在书面答辩期内提出对仲裁机构的管辖异议。我们是十分认同这一做法的,每一仲裁机构仲裁规则中都会就答辩期限作出规定,有理由相信当事人可以在答辩期内就是否提出仲裁协议效力的司法审查作出决定,而非一定要等到仲裁庭首次开庭前。

其次,我们建议进一步明确仲裁协议效力的司法审查期限,且该司法审查期限不宜过长,否则就违背了当事人选择仲裁解决纠纷的初衷,且与仲裁的高效性相违背。

文中备注:

1 参见2014年3月17日,浙江省宁波市中级人民法院(2012)浙甬仲确字第4号《民事裁定书》。

2 张勇健,任雪峰,梁颖.《关于仲裁司法审查案件报核问题的有关规定》及《关于审理仲裁司法审查案件若干问题的规定》的理解与适用[J].人民司法(应用),2018(04):27-32.

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