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

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

Litigation: Arbitration online

A lot of dispute resolution business comes to the UK. Between 6,000 and 8,000 cases find their way here each year for arbitration or other forms of mediation, such as ADR. At least half of this is related to shipping industry disputes, processed in the UK on behalf of Lloyds of London, but there is a significant amount of commercial dispute resolution too.

Kieran Flatt asks Alan Connarty, director of operations at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, why his organisation is championing the cause of electronic dispute resolution in some cases. Continue reading Litigation: Arbitration online

WIPO Continues Efforts to Stamp Out Cybersquatting

Online Dispute Resolution News A Colleague writes “Efforts by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to combat the abusive registration of trademarks as domain names, or cybersquatting, made significant headway in 2003 although the problem persists most notably for high-value brands around the world. Since the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) went into effect in December 1999, through 2003, WIPOs Arbitration and Mediation Center has handled some 6,000 disputes, covering 10,000 domain names.

“While daily filings with WIPO are less now than in the early days of the UDRP, we need to continue our efforts to ensure that the rights of legitimate trademark owners are not diluted,” said Mr. Francis Gurry, Deputy Director General of WIPO, who oversees the work of the Center. “Reducing the practice of cybersquatting is an important element in enabling the Internet to develop as a secure and reliable environment which inspires confidence on the part of the ever-growing number of Internet users,” he observed. “The fact that over 80 percent of the WIPO expert decisions went in favor of the trademark holder, be it a large multinational corporation or a small or medium-sized business, underlines the bad faith inherent in this practice,” Mr. Gurry further noted. Continue reading WIPO Continues Efforts to Stamp Out Cybersquatting

Settling e-Commerce Disputes

Settling e-Commerce Disputes by Giuseppe Leone

Despite the dot.com bust, the future of Internet commerce (e-commerce) still looks rosy. According to recent studies, it is now projected that by 2005 one billion people will be on the Internet and at least one third will make online purchases. What is even more remarkable is that this huge, $1.6 trillion business will be based essentially on trust, among sellers and buyers who are unlikely to ever see or speak to each other.

Inevitably, some of those e-commerce transactions are bound to turn into disputes. So what happens when a seller in the USA and a buyer in Russia disagree over a sale transaction worth only a few hundred dollars? What recourse do they have, when litigation, Small Claims court and arbitration are obviously not feasible options? Continue reading Settling e-Commerce Disputes