Hong Kong—powers of the arbitral tribunal to order interim measures and how to apply to the tribunal
Produced in partnership with John Zadkovich of Vinson & Elkins (Hong Kong)

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with John Zadkovich of Vinson & Elkins (Hong Kong) provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Hong Kong—powers of the arbitral tribunal to order interim measures and how to apply to the tribunal
  • Powers of the tribunal to grant interim measures
  • How to apply to the tribunal for an interim measure
  • Emergency relief

Hong Kong—powers of the arbitral tribunal to order interim measures and how to apply to the tribunal

The Arbitration Ordinance, Chapter 609 (AO) enables parties to seek the assistance of the arbitral tribunal as to interim measures and emergency relief, in addition to that which the court can provide (note AO, ss 45 and 60). The provisions in relation to such measures are numerous and warrant careful consideration by a party before seeking to invoke any. Recent amendments to the AO now also provide for the enforcement of emergency relief granted by emergency arbitrators.

Powers of the tribunal to grant interim measures

AO, Pt 6 covers, in large part, the arbitral tribunal’s power to order interim measures and is predominantly based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the Model Law) with AO, ss 35–36, and 39–42, expressly implementing the Model Law, arts 17, 17A, 17D, 17E, 17F and 17G.

AO, s 35 vests the arbitral tribunal with the general power to grant interim measures, subject to the contrary agreement of the parties. Such interim measures may be in the form of an award or another form and may include such measures ordering ‘a party’ to:

  1. maintain or restore the status quo depending determination of the dispute

  2. take action that would prevent, or refrain from taking action that is likely to cause, current or imminent harm

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