Hong Kong Mediation Ordinance to come into effect in January 2013

Next Action Step: Implementation of the Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association

The Hong Kong Government Gazette has announced that the Mediation Ordinance passed on June 22nd 2012 will come into effect on January 1, 2013.

The Mediation Ordinance provides a regulatory framework to remove impediments to the development of mediation – among other things to give statutory effect (in addition to any contractual or “without prejudice” considerations) to the confidential nature of “any mediation communication” made before, during or after a mediation. The Ordinance applies to mediations conducted wholly or partly in Hong Kong or where the agreement to mediate is governed by Hong Kong law. The Ordinance also applies to the Hong Kong Government and its statutory bodies.

The Ordinance does not provide for a single accreditation body for mediators in Hong Kong. However, the Hong Kong Department of Justice has advised that the Mediation Task Force and its Accreditation Subgroup are working towards the establishment of the Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association Limited (“HKMAAL”) which was incorporated in August 2012, and which is expected to become the sole accreditation body for mediators in Hong Kong and the default appointing body where parties cannot agree on the appointment of a mediator.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department said: “With mediation becoming increasingly used in many different jurisdictions around the world to resolve disputes other than through litigation in the courts, the Ordinance will enhance Hong Kong’s status as a leading centre for dispute resolution in the Asia-Pacific region.”

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For a copy of the Hong Kong Mediation Ordinance, click here

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