Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen has pointed out that the effectiveness of the legal system and legal infrastructure in Hong Kong, including dispute resolution, has played a crucial role in maintaining the city's competitiveness and status as one of the leading global financial and commercial centers.
During his speech to a forum organized in London by the Hong Kong Association, Yuen said that the availability of top quality legal services can provide necessary support to the business community, and that, with the rapid economic development in the Asia Pacific region, in particular the Greater China region, capitalizing on Hong Kong's well-developed legal system and legal infrastructure is the steadfast policy of the Hong Kong Government.
In its priority to consolidate, maintain, enhance and promote Hong Kong as a center for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia Pacific region, he confirmed that "the Hong Kong Government fully appreciates the pivotal role played by the rule of law, the legal system and legal services. We will spare no efforts to ensure that our legal infrastructure will stay at the forefront of international development so as to maintain and fortify Hong Kong's status as a global center for finance and commerce."
In particular, in order to promote Hong Kong as a regional center for international legal and dispute resolution services, it is notable that the Government has been instrumental in promoting the development of other dispute resolution methods rather than litigation.
For example, a new Arbitration Ordinance came into effect in June 2011 and Hong Kong has also made continuous efforts to internationalize its arbitration services, while the new Mediation Ordinance went into operation in January this year and provides a regulatory framework for the conduct of mediation without hampering the flexibility of the mediation process.
Apart from the existing Hong Kong International Arbitration Center, the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce also has a branch of its Secretariat in Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association Limited was incorporated and established in August last year.
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