Hong Kong 2003
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Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration has been a popular method of dispute resolution in the HKSAR for some time. It is governed by the Arbitration Ordinance, which has two distinct regimes — a domestic regime derived from English law and an international regime which reflects the UNCITRAL Model Law, the model law adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

Awards made in the HKSAR can be enforced in more than 135 jurisdictions that are signatories to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Since July 1, 1997, the HKSAR's membership has been by virtue of the fact that the PRC is a signatory to the New York Convention and has applied it to Hong Kong. A system for reciprocal enforcement of arbitration awards between the HKSAR and the Mainland, based on the spirit of the New York Convention, has been in place since January 2000. In June 2000, the summary enforcement of other awards (e.g. from Taiwan and Macau) was introduced.

The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) was established in 1985 to act as an independent and impartial focus for the development of all forms of dispute resolution in the HKSAR and the Asia-Pacific region. The HKIAC provides information on dispute resolution and arbitration both in the HKSAR and overseas. It operates panels of international and local arbitrators, and maintains lists of accredited mediators. The HKIAC's premises are in Exchange Square in Central, with 10 hearing and conference rooms and full support facilities. The number of cases involving the HKIAC has substantially increased in recent years. It is expected that there will be a further increase in such cases, not only because of the increased popularity of arbitration and mediation as a means of dispute resolution, but also because of the growth of the HKSAR as a regional dispute resolution centre.

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