Hong Kong arbitration update: new rules, new regime

On 28 March, the Arbitration (Amendment) Bill was gazetted. The bill proposes to amend the Arbitration Ordinance to support incoming revisions to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre Administered Arbitration Rules (HKIAC Rules), as well as provide for other developments. The bill is tabled for introduction to the Legislative Council in late April. The revised HKIAC Rules are scheduled to come into effect on 1 May 2013.

The Bill:

  • implements the Arrangement Concerning Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region (the “Macao Arrangement”), as concluded in January 2013. The Macao Arrangement is in line with the principles of the New York Convention, and similar to the arrangement made between Hong Kong and Mainland China in 1999. The Ordinance is amended to enable the Hong Kong courts to enforce Macao awards; 
  • makes it clear that any emergency relief granted by an “emergency arbitrator” is enforceable in accordance with the Ordinance. This amendment supports a development in the HKIAC Rules introducing an emergency arbitrator procedure (see below for more details) and also facilitates the enforcement of emergency relief granted under the rules of other arbitral institutions…

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