Reconsideration mechanism helps solve business disputes

Updated: Jun 24, 2024 China Daily Print
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Multiple authorities and agencies have launched an initiative to strengthen supervision over administrative law enforcement and streamline business dispute resolution.

The six-month operation, involving the Ministry of Justice, National Development and Reform Commission and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, aims to foster a more efficient and fair legal environment for businesses.

A key component of the initiative is to enhance the role of administrative reconsideration, a process allowing companies to challenge government actions they believe violate their rights. The Ministry of Justice has established dedicated channels for handling business-related reconsideration cases and facilitates mediation through industry associations.

"Administrative reconsideration not only ensures government accountability, but also offers a crucial avenue for safeguarding business interests," said Zhou Yuansheng, head of the ministry's Bureau of Administrative Reconsideration and Response. "This system prioritizes convenience, fairness and swift resolution, typically concluding cases within 60 days, with simplified procedures resolving disputes in 30 days."

The initiative emphasizes stronger oversight of business-related administrative enforcement. Authorities will address issues such as excessive fines for minor offenses and ensure penalties serve a legitimate purpose. Recommendations will be issued to rectify any identified irregularities discovered during reconsideration proceedings.

The NDRC will focus on establishing standardized mechanisms for communication between government departments regarding concerns about the business environment. This will ensure prompt action on recurring problems and address common needs raised by companies.

"We aim to prioritize non-litigation methods like administrative reconsideration," said Yu Wentao, deputy head of NDRC's Department of Laws and Regulations. "This approach offers a low-cost, multifaceted and one-stop solution for dispute resolution."

The federation will emphasize the growing importance of legal compliance within the private sector, which now boasts over 55 million enterprises. Chambers of commerce play a significant role in facilitating mediation, with a success rate of 68 percent for over 370,000 mediated business disputes in the past four years.

"We will collaborate with the Ministry of Justice and other departments to promote a law-based business environment," said Li Qiang, deputy head of the federation's legal services department. "The focus will be on areas such as compliant employment practices, preventing internal corruption, intellectual property protection and robust internal control mechanisms."

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