Dispute Resolution doing business in China

Rapid change has taken place in China since 1978 when Deng Xiao Ping led plans to re-establish a judiciary and a legal system. Since then, there has been a systematic attempt to legislate in all areas and to create and promote a judiciary and legal profession – now 150,000 strong – for the country’s population of 1.3bn.

What can a foreign party expect in relation to dispute resolution when doing business in China? If a dispute arises, negotiation is the best initial method of resolution. Most business contracts in China will include a clause requiring negotiation before other dispute settlement mechanisms are pursued. Negotiation might require attempts to enlist the help of local government officials by emphasising the importance of the foreign company’s investment.

If negotiation fails, it is arbitration that has for many years been the preferred method of resolution for foreign-related commercial disputes in China. Arbitrators have, at least until recently, been more experienced and better qualified in the subject matter than judges, and procedures have been more flexible and predictable. Arbitration also has the advantage of finality, in that awards are not subject to appeal whereas court rulings may result in a lengthy appeal process. Continue reading Dispute Resolution doing business in China

ICC International Court of Arbitration will open a branch in Hong Kong

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will open a branch of the Secretariat of its International Court of Arbitration in Hong Kong. The branch secretariat, the first in Asia, will have a case management team to administer cases in the region under the ICC Rules of Arbitration. It is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.

The International Chamber of Commerce’s decision to set up branch of the Secretariat of the Court in Hong Kong is an endorsement of our position as a premier center for international arbitration services. Its presence will enhance the provision of arbitration services in Hong Kong, ” said Wong Yan Lung, secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government. Continue reading ICC International Court of Arbitration will open a branch in Hong Kong

Online Dispute Resolution emerging in Kerala, India

Online Dispute Resolution involving mediation and arbitration with the help of technology, was emerging as a branch of dispute resolution, Chief Justice of Kerala, H L Dattu said on Saturday. In India, this method is in its infancy stage and is gaining prominence day by day, he said after inaugurating the National Conference on court annexed mediation and role of institutional arbitration here.

With the enactment of Information Technology Act, 2000, e-commerce and e-governance have been given a formal and legal recognition. Even the traditional arbitration law of India has been reformulated and ‘Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996’ was enacted, he said.

In mediation, the practitioner has no advisory role, instead, a mediator renders help to parties to develop a shared understanding of the conflict and to work towards building a practical and lasting solution, he said.

He also emphasised the need for creating awareness on mediation among the general public. Continue reading Online Dispute Resolution emerging in Kerala, India

Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC

With about 350 arbitration cases / year (mainly in construction matters) Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) is one of the most actives dispute resolution centres of the world. Main areas of activity of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC are:

Negotiation: The most common form of dispute resolution is negotiation. By this means alone nearly all disputes are solved. If negotiations fail, it is necessary to seek the assistance of a neutral third party or several neutral third parties to facilitate a solution.

Mr. Christopher To, Secretary General of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC, video:

Conciliation and Mediation: Conciliation and Mediation are often terms used interchangeably and they are together referred to as mediation. Both involve the appointment of a third party to assist disputing parties to reach a settlement of their difference. The mediator is not given any power to impose a settlement. His function is to try to break any impasse and encourage the parties to reach an amicable settlement. In commercial disputes an impasse most often arises from either a lack of trust in the integrity of the other party or a genuine good faith difference of opinion on the facts underlying the dispute or on the probable outcome of the case were it to go to court. The mediator may act as a shuttle diplomat acting as a channel for communication filtering out the emotional elements and allowing the parties to focus on the underlying objectives. He will encourage the parties to reach an agreement themselves as opposed to having it imposed upon them. Continue reading Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre HKIAC

e-Justice Centre, ODR in Second Life

e-Justice Centre is an arbitration centre that belongs to the Portuguese Ministry of Justice and was developed in collaboration with the Department of Communication and Art of the University of Aveiro and the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University. This centre provides mediation and arbitration services for all avatars in Second Life in the resolution of disputes resulting from consumer relations or any other contract-based relations signed between parties.

The most interesting issue is that e-Justice Centre, is a mediation and arbitration centre, in the 3D virtual world of Second Life.

Picture of the virtual ODR centre e-Justice:

e-Justice Centre, ODR in Second Life
The centre provides mediation and arbitration services for avatars resident in Second Life, permitting the opportunity to decide on conflicts deriving from consumer relations or any contracts signed between parties. Users of the centre can opt to resolve submitted disputes through the application of Portuguese law or through the use of impartiality criteria. The functioning of the mediation and arbitration centre will be the responsibility of the Faculty of Law of the Lisbon New University via a protocol signed with the Ministry of Justice. Continue reading e-Justice Centre, ODR in Second Life

Arbitration forum in Bahrain

Arbitration forum in Bahrain

Bahrain will host a 10-day conference on arbitration which is expected to be attended by international experts. The event, beginning on November 10, will focus on settling commercial disputes between Islamic financial establishments and will offer solutions based on Islamic law.

Speakers include UN General Assembly president Shaikha Haya bint Rashid Al Khalifa, International Court of Arbitration chairman Pierre Tercier and president of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce Institute of International Business Law Serge Lazarev. Continue reading Arbitration forum in Bahrain

Labor disputes arbitration in China

Labor disputes arbitration in China

China‘s top legislature started to read the draft law on labor dispute mediation and arbitration amid an increasing number of labor disputes that emerged in the country. The draft law was submitted Sunday to the seven-day 29th session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), or China’s top legislature, for the first reading. Arbitration in labor dispute cases will be important because in China are continuously increasing in recent years. Statistics show that labor dispute arbitration organizations at various levels dealt with 1.72 million labor dispute cases involving 5.32 million employees from 1987 to the end of 2005, with a growth rate of 27.3 percent annually.

Xin Chunying, vice Chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee said on the legislative session that excepting the increasing number of labor disputes, other problems also exist. For instance, the personnel in arbitration organizations are not professional and thus lack credibility and the process of arbitrating labor disputes is long, making the cost of arbitration high. Continue reading Labor disputes arbitration in China

International Dispute Resolution in United Kingdom UK

International Dispute Resolution in United Kingdom UK

World of Arbitration In a civilised society, citizens look to the courts to settle their disputes. The courts put judges at the disposal of the parties, the courts determine the substantive and procedural law which is to be applied and the courts enforce their own orders through court officers, when necessary. It is a one-stop shop.

For those engaged in alternative dispute resolution – ADR, the courts are available not merely to enforce decisions and awards but also to supervise and control the chosen ADR procedures, should matters go awry.

Where disputes arise in the international arena, the picture is a little different because national courts are rarely acceptable to both sides. Disputes between states or between an individual and a foreign state or between an individual and an international organisation may be regarded as being in a special category, where the aggrieved party may have recourse to treaty arbitration. Examples are arbitration before the PCA1 and arbitration under the auspices of ICSID2. Beyond that special category, the parties must make express provision for dispute resolution in their agreement, failing which the aggrieved party will be left to seek his remedy from the domestic courts of one country or another, depending upon which will assume jurisdiction.

The result is a contrast. Whereas national courts often represent a convenient and acceptable means of dispute resolution for parties to a dispute which has no international element, there is no international equivalent. In consequence, most international disputes fall to be resolved through a process or by a tribunal which is essentially consensual in origin.

This paper is concerned with the resolution of disputes arising under international construction contracts. The purpose is to survey the available alternatives and to identify some of the considerations to be borne in mind by those concerned. In this last context, the emphasis is on two key considerations, being enforcement and applicable law. Continue reading International Dispute Resolution in United Kingdom UK

InterDigital vs Samsung arbitration awards

InterDigital vs Samsung arbitration awards

Wireless technology company InterDigital Communications Corp. announced it has been awarded $134 million by an arbitrator in a decade-long royalty dispute with South Korean-based Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

The arbitration award for InterDigital (King of Prussia, Pa.) covers past royalties plus interest on Samsung’s sale of single mode 2G GSM/TDMA and 2.5G GSM/GPRS/EDGE terminal units through 2005. The arbitrator said Samsung would have to pay InterDigital $17 to $21 million to cover royalties for the first half of 2006.

In a separate matter, the arbitrator determined that Samsung has not obtained the broader CDMA and 3G patent license rights in the Nokia agreement with InterDigital.

In Feb. 1996, Samsung entered agreements with InterDigital which covered both technology development and patent licenses. As part of the agreements, Samsung paid approximately $35 million up front to InterDigital. Continue reading InterDigital vs Samsung arbitration awards

New Procedures in the Institute of Arbitration

The Standard Dispute Rules (hereinafter referred to as ‘the rules’) are used, both nationally and internationally, to find a solution to a dispute or to obtain a verdict, quickly, simply and more cheaply, either through reconciliation or arbitration.

I. Conciliation
Either party may demand conciliation. The demand for conciliation is made by letter, fax or Internet. Within 10 workdays, and once the administrative costs have been covered, the other party (parties) is (are) advised of this demand for conciliation. The applicant is notified of any response or reaction by the other party. If the case reveals a serious difficulty the parties may, in that event, call for an expert or a mediator to be appointed, so as to avoid litigation. After one month or when the conciliation fails, either party may initiate arbitration proceedings.

II. Expertise and Mediation
All the parties may demand, together, in writing, for an expert or mediator. Within 15 workdays, and once the administrative costs have been covered, an expert or a mediator will be appointed. Each party bears the costs thereof for equal parts. Within 30 days after the appointment, the expert or mediator shall meet the parties and, within 3 months, he shall make a compromise or give a report with a clear opinion.

III. Arbitration
Before initiating arbitration in the first instance parties are obliged to make an attempt at conciliation every time the law imposes it.

Art. 1: General
Arbitration has, since 1958, been an internationally recognized procedure (convention of New York). Unless otherwise agreed between the parties, only the laws of the country of the clerk’s office of the Court shall apply. The law applies to all that is not expressly stipulated in these rules.

Art. 2: Jurisdiction
Parties who had not foreseen an arbitration clause, may, after a dispute has arisen, conclude a contract thereto. An arbitration agreement must be incorporated in a document signed by both parties or in other legally binding documents. Disputes which cannot be legally submitted for arbitration shall be inadmissible. If one party refuses to take part in the proceedings or does not present its arguments within the stipulated time limit, the dispute will be heard anyway and an award shall be pronounced. Continue reading New Procedures in the Institute of Arbitration