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International Dispute Resolution Centre


INTRODUCTION
Hong Kong is a prime venue for international legal and dispute resolution services through arbitration and mediation:
  • Since 2015, Hong Kong has been among the top five preferred seats for arbitration globally according to the International Arbitration Surveys conducted by Queen Mary University of London
  • With an arbitration-friendly approach well-documented in court judgments, Hong Kong’s judiciary is particularly successful in the realm of international dispute resolution. When two parties have a dispute with a valid arbitration agreement, the court will order that the court proceedings be stayed in favour of arbitration. The court will also uphold the general flexibility and integrity of the arbitral process
  • Hong Kong arbitral awards are enforceable in over 150 Contracting States to the New York Convention. This is complemented by respective arrangements for reciprocal enforcement with Mainland China and Macao SAR
  • The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) is a home-grown arbitral institution. HKIAC ranked first for location, perceived value for money, helpfulness of staff and IT services by the Global Arbitration Review Hearing Centres Surveys 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • A number of well-respected international institutions have chosen to make Hong Kong their first global location outside their home jurisdictions. This melding of local and international arbitral institutions has fostered Hong Kong’s development as the leading international legal and dispute resolution services hub in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond


SECTOR-SPECIFIC ARBITRATION


  • As a global financial and business hub, Hong Kong has a wealth of legal and professional expertise in different areas including commerce and finance, maritime, infrastructure and construction, intellectual property, information technology and international investment law
  • Each industry carries a unique set of circumstances and requirements when it comes to arbitration or other dispute resolution processes. Hong Kong has a deep pool of legal professionals with the know-how to address them


USER-FRIENDLY ARBITRATION LAW


  • Hong Kong adopted the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration for its arbitration legislation in 2011
  • This user-friendly framework unified the legislative regimes for domestic and international arbitrations into a self-contained set of provisions. It guarantees clear, certain and accessible arbitration framework which serves to attract more international arbitration to Hong Kong


THIRD PARTY
FUNDING
  • A proven efficient way to allocate and manage financial resources of arbitration users
  • The Arbitration and Mediation Legislation (Third Party Funding) (Amendment) Ordinance 2017 clarifies that third-party funding for arbitration and mediation is not prohibited by the common law doctrines of maintenance and champerty and provides for related safeguards
  • A Code of Practice for Third Party Funding of Arbitration set out the practices and standards with which third party funders are ordinarily expected to comply in carrying out activities in connection with third party funding of arbitration


INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY RIGHTS
  • Hong Kong is developing as a leading global intellectual property trading centre
  • Arbitration and mediation are effective means to handle intellectual property disputes as they often involve parties from different jurisdictions
  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are arbitrable under the Arbitration (Amendment) Ordinance 2017. It would not be contrary to public policy to enforce an award solely because the award involves an intellectual property right dispute


WIDER USE OF
MEDIATION

  • Hong Kong Mediation Ordinance encourages the wider use and development of mediation as an effective means of dispute resolution
  • Hong Kong is the first jurisdiction in Asia to have apology legislation which promote and encourage the making of apologies between parties with a view to preventing the escalation of disputes and facilitating their amicable resolution
  • CEPA Mediation Mechanism was established for the settlement of investment disputes arising from an alleged breach of the substantive obligations of the agreement by one side causing loss to an investor of the other side
  • With the CEPA Mediation Mechanism in place, Department of Justice (DoJ) of the HKSAR Government is developing a bespoke training programme for investment mediators with the objective of building up a team of investment mediators in Asia, and to develop Hong Kong as a training and capacity building centre


IDAR OFFICE


  • To better cope with the challenges and harness the additional opportunities offered by the Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Bay Area Plan, the “Inclusive Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Office” (IDAR Office) has been established within the DoJ to facilitate access to justice and raise the international profile of Hong Kong in deal making and dispute resolution through capacity building, concluding co-operation or partnership arrangements with other jurisdictions and international organisations, organising and supporting a number of important international events in Hong Kong and promotional activities overseas.


TRAINING AND
CAPACITY BUILDING
  • DoJ has been actively involved in training and capacity-building programmes relating to international law, judicial skills and dispute resolution for judges and government officials in Asia and around the world
  • Such programmes foster collaborative relationships between international organisations, the legal profession, experts, and other stakeholders in Hong Kong and other countries and regions
  • The goal is to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as a regional and international centre for legal and dispute resolution services


LAWTECH


  • DoJ is supporting the private sector’s initiative of developing an online deal-making and dispute resolution platform to provide cost-effective, secure and efficient dispute resolution and smart contract services to parties from anywhere in the world
  • Reducing costs and dealing with the linguistic and geographical barriers that parties may face when resolving their dispute through the use of negotiation, mediation and arbitration
  • Advanced technology (e.g. Blockchain, real-time translation etc.) is adopted to provide a deal-making platform for parties located in different parts of the world
  • A set of e-mediation and e-arbitration rules will be available for the platform
  • DoJ is also taking the lead in online dispute resolution work under the APEC Economic Committee’s Friends of the Chair on Strengthening Economic and Legal Infrastructure (SELI) working group with micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as major beneficiaries



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