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International Conference on Public-Private Partnership Contracts

On 11 October 2017, the International Conference on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Contracts hosted by the School of Rule of Law and Government and the China-EU School of Law (CESL) of the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) was held at the Beijing Jingyi Hotel. More than 70 scholars, experts and officials from the Chinese National People’s Congress Law Committee, the Chinese Legislative Affairs Office and the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission of the State Council, the Chinese Ministry of Finance, the Chinese Supreme People’s Court, Beijing Fourth Intermediate People’s Court, the Legislative Affairs Office of the Changsha Municipal People’s Government, Peking University, Renmin University of China, CUPL, the Central University of Finance and Economics, the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing Foreign University, Zhejiang University and other institutions joined the conference. The Chinese Co-Dean of CESL, Prof. Liu Fei, and the EU Co-Dean, Prof. Bengt Lundell, also joined the conference.

The conference opening was hosted by Prof. Wang Jingbo, the Dean of the School of Rule of Law-Based Government. Prof. Ying Songnian from CUPL and Bertrand du Marais,Councillor of State at the French Council of State,welcomed the participants.

Prof. Wang Jingbo

Prof. Ying Songnian

Bertrand du Marais

The topic of the conference was Public-Private Partnerships. There were four sessions. The first session was hosted by Prof. Zhan Zhongle from Peking University.

Prof. Laurence Folliot Lalliot from the University Paris Nanterre, France, made a speech entitled “In Search of International Standards for PPPs”. She elaborated the development and the international standards of PPP contracts.

Prof. Zhan Zhongle

Prof. Laurence Folliot Lalliot

Liu Qichang, Office Director of the General Office of Department of Finance, Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, made a speech on “The Keys and Difficulties for the Legislation of PPP in China”. He had analysed the recent “Regulations on Infrastructure and PPP” draft and indicated that the articles in the regulation should be more specific as well as make a reference on foreign experiences, risk prevention and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Liu Qichang

Zhang Xiaoying, Deputy Director of The National People’s Congress Law Committee Administrative Law Office, Chen Hu, Vice Dean of the Fourth Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing, and Prof. Shi Jingxia, Dean of the School of Law of the University of International Business and Economics, made comments on the reports.

Zhang Xiaoying

Chen Hu

The second session was hosted by Wang Zhenyu, Deputy Chief Judge of theChinese Supreme People’s Court’s Department for Administrative Law. Prof. Marta Franch Saguer from Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, gave a speech on “The Partnership Contract between the Public and Private Sectors”. She gave an introduction to the PPP system in Spain and described the legal framework, the objectives, characteristics, advantages, disadvantages and developments. She pointed out that with the participation of the private sector, the public sector can improve the efficiency of financing and management, and that the private sector can gain better access to legislation. Yet she also mentioned difficulties such as a lack of risk allocation, cost overruns and the lack of private capital.

Wang Zhenyu

Prof. Marta Franch Saguer

Prof. Simone Torricelli from the Faculty of Law of the University of Florence, Italy, gave a report entitled “Public-Private Partnerships in the Italian Legal System”. He distinguished between institutionalised PPP and contractual PPP. He pointed out that PPP must obey the government’s supervision, introduce competition and negotiation mechanisms, and correctly control risks and costs. According to Prof. Torricelli, Italy’s Anti-Corruption Authority and specific contract terms prevent the abuse of power, protect the rights of all parties and ensure the control of PPP contracts.

Prof. Simone Torricelli

Prof. Cao Fuguo from the Central University of Finance and Economics’ School of Law gave a speech on “The Issue on the Selection of Private Partner”.

Prof. Cao Fuguo

Prof. Mo Yuchuan from Renmin University of China and Jia Minliang, Deputy Director of the Regulation Department of the National Development and Reform Commission, gave comments on the two reports.

Jia Minliang

The third session was hosted by Prof. Xue Gangling from the School of Law of the South China Normal University. Dr. Clemens Richter, the Vice Director of the Chinese-German Institute for Law at CUPL, gave a speech on Public Private Partnerships from the perspective of German law. He focused on the implementation of PPP and how PPP touches public and private law. He emphasised the necessity of PPP and the influence of PPP on financial transparency.

Prof. Xue Gangling

Dr. Clemens Richter

Bertrand du Marais,Councillor of State at the French Council of State, gave a presentation entitled “PPP Schemes in France”. He described the characteristics of the development of PPP in France. Du Marais said that France has a long history of PPP and thus could have great value as a reference for China. The reform of the French administrative contract system, especially the legal simplification reform of Public-Private Partnership Contracts, which was implemented from 2015 to 2016 to adopt an EU directive, greatly reduced the cost of PPP in France, he said.

Prof. Jiang Lili from the China Arbitration Institute of CUPL gave a report on “The Analysis of Arbitral Dispute Resolution in PPP”. She started from a practical point of view and described both the legal status of the parties involved in PPP and demonstrated the possibility to recommend arbitration to PPP parties in dispute. She also emphasised that it could help to create a multi-tier dispute resolution mechanism in China.

Prof. Jiang Lili

Liang Fengyun,Presiding Judge in the Chinese Supreme People’s Court’s Department for Administrative Law, made a short comment on the report of Prof. Jiang Lili. Prof. Zeng Tao, Deputy Dean of the School of International Studies of CUPL, emphasised that in the light of the Chinese “Belt and Road Initiative”, PPP will become more important for Chinese oversea investment. Nong Tianjiao, Vice Director of the Chinese Ministry of Finance’s Department of Law, also commented on the two reports.

Liang Fengyun

Nong Tianjiao

The fourth session was hosted by Wu Lei, Associate Senior Editor of the China Law Journal. Jim Buchanan, Partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner law firm, informed on “Preparing for PPP and avoiding the mistakes of others”. He recommended that the Chinese government should study the United Kingdom’s experiences of failure experience in this field and should pay most attention to PPP projects at the planning stage.

Wu Lei

Jim Buchanan

Prof. Amel Aouij EP Nemji from the Tunis El Manar University gave a speech on “The Public-Private Partnership Contract in Tunisia”. She introduced to PPP legislation and its characteristics, including the characteristics of PPP contracting, implementation and dispute resolution in the Tunisian legalsystem.

Prof. Amel Aouij EP Nemji

Chen Jianwen, the Director of the Legislative Affairs Office of Changsha city, gave a speech on “Case Studies of PPP Projects in Changsha”. She introduced the audience to the PPP projects in Changsha. She recommended the following: firstly, thoroughly examine the project before it starts; secondly, establish a dispute resolution mechanism; thirdly, establish a contract performance evaluation mechanism; fourthly, construct a high-quality legal services network. Chen Jianwen shared the legal problems of two Changsha PPP projects and also described the solutions to these problems.

Chen Jianwen

Prof. Gao Qinwei from the School of Law of the Central University of Finance and Economics and Prof. Zheng Yafang from the University of International Business and Economics made comments on the reports. All participants discussed the speeches in the Q&A session.

Prof. Ma Huaide

Prof. Zhang Li

Prof. Liu Fei

At the end of the conference, Prof. Ma Huaide, Vice President of CUPL, Prof. Zhang Li from the School of Rule of Law and Government, and Prof. Liu Fei, Chinese Co-Dean of CESL, concluded the conference.

News by Chen Ge (2017 master’s student)

Translation by Liu Yuxiang (2016 double master’s student at the China-EU School of Law)