Hong Hong S.A.R. - Arbitration Law and Practice in Asia - Second Edition
A. Historical Evolution of Law Relating to Arbitration
In 1989, Hong Kong became the first Asian jurisdiction to adopt the latest version of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (Model Law).
Prior to that, the English Arbitration Act 1950 served as the template for the arbitration legislative regime in Hong Kong. With the desire to attract foreign parties to select Hong Kong as an arbitral venue, Hong Kong signalled its readiness to internationalise its arbitral system by adopting the Model Law for international arbitrations in Hong Kong, though a regime inspired by the English Arbitration Act remained applicable to domestic arbitrations. In June 2011, the dual regime system fell away and was replaced by the Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609), a unified regime which applies the Model Law (2006) to all arbitrations in Hong Kong. No longer is there a separate regime for domestic arbitration. The Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609) represents a wholesale adoption of the Model Law with any deviations to the text of the Model Law expressed in the body of the legislation.
Over the years, Hong Kong has built a sustainable world-class arbitral framework, which includes modern arbitration legislation and a well-respected arbitral institution, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC).
Designated as the statutory appointing authority pursuant to the Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance, HKIAC appointed arbitrators when parties with arbitrations seated in Hong Kong could not agree on a sole arbitrator or a chair. In 1993, HKIAC promulgated its first set of arbitration rules for use in the local construction sector. Over the years, HKIAC found the need for a set of procedures to assist arbitrations conducted under the UNCITRAL Model Rules (1976) that were seated in Hong Kong or otherwise designated HKIAC as the appointing authority in the arbitration agreement or through the Permanent Court of Arbitration (the designated default appointing authority under the UNCITRAL Model Rules). In 2005, Hong Kong developed the HKIAC Procedures for the Administration of Arbitration under the Model Law (1976).