Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), mainly denotes a wide range of dispute resolution processes that act as a means of disagreeing parties to agree without using the means of litigation. It is a collective term that refers to how the parties can settle disputes, with the help of a third party. It is also known as external dispute resolution (EDR). ADR has gained widespread acceptance among both the general public and the legal profession in recent years and is also being adopted as the means to help settle disputes alongside the court system itself. Arbitration is one of the most popular forms of ADR. In the process of arbitration, there has to be a valid Arbitration Agreement between the parties before the emergence of a dispute for the process of arbitration to exist. In this method of dispute resolution, the parties refer the dispute to a third party, who is appointed as an arbitrator. The decision of the arbitrator is binding on both the parties and his decision is given in the form of an award.
Over the years international arbitration has received widespread acceptance all over the world and one of the best examples is the New York Convention on International Arbitration. International arbitration institutions are being slowly set up globally as different countries accept the process as a viable alternative to litigation. One example of this is the establishment of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC). The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre is an institution offering Alternative Dispute Resolution services. It is based in Hong Kong and was established in 1985. The main aim behind the establishment of the center was the promotion of arbitration and other forms of ADR in Asia. It was built with the assistance of the government. However, the center is now successfully independent and is operating on its own funds. The center operates under a Council which consists of professionals of various nationalities. The process of arbitration is administered by the center’s Secretary-General (currently, Sarah Grimmer). HKIAC has an International Advisory Board for guidance on policymaking. HKIAC handles the highest number of caseloads in the Asia-Pacific Region. It has handled more than 9000 cases since 1985.
The HKIAC has made considerable developments in the ADR proceedings over the years to adapt to the changing circumstances. However, in 2018, the institution issued a new set of Arbitration Rules. The institution has made provisions to support electronic document submission and expedited arbitration proceedings. The expedited procedure was introduced with the view of saving the resources. It is a well-known fact that ADR or even arbitration is opted for because the course of litigation is long and tedious. When the arbitration proceedings are expedited, the process becomes more time and money-saving. That is the reason why international arbitral institutions are slowly adopting the process of expedited arbitration.
With international arbitration receiving widespread recognition and acceptance, the establishment of HKIAC steps in the right direction. Expedited Arbitration too, is being widely accepted and is receiving widespread recognition. Arbitration is a viable alternative to litigation and should be well promoted globally.