Arbitration bill being prepared

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 January, 2009, 12:00am

The government is to introduce a new Arbitration Bill during the current legislative session to make Hong Kong's arbitration laws fall in line with the international standard.

Secretary for Justice Wong Yan-lung, who announced the move at the opening of the legal year yesterday, said it would help promote arbitration in the city.

The bill will be drafted on the basis of the globally recognised United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. It would reinforce the advantages of arbitration, including respect for parties' autonomy as well as saving time and money, Mr Wong said.

He said there had been an increasing number of local lawyers qualified to practise on the mainland since examination centres were set up in 2005 in Hong Kong under the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement. The pass rate for candidates in Hong Kong stood at 9 per cent last year, which Mr Wong described as encouraging for the 'extremely rigorous' test.