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
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.