Hong Kong—role and power of the tribunal
Produced in partnership with Amanda Lees and Tiffany Lee of Simmons & Simmons (Hong Kong & Singapore)
Hong Kong—role and power of the tribunal

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Amanda Lees and Tiffany Lee of Simmons & Simmons (Hong Kong & Singapore) provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Hong Kong—role and power of the tribunal
  • Ruling on substantive jurisdiction
  • Determination of applicable law
  • Conduct of the proceedings
  • Evidential and procedural matters
  • To appoint experts and cost assessors
  • To order interim measures
  • To order security for costs
  • Powers in relation to property
  • Injunctive or declaratory relief, specific performance, or rectification of deeds or documents
  • more

The Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance, Chapter 609 (AO) is based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the Model Law) with some amendments and supplementary provisions.

One of the guiding principles of the AO and the Model Law is party autonomy, ie the parties to a dispute should be free to agree on how the dispute should be resolved.

The AO provides the arbitral tribunal with wide range of powers necessary to ensure that the dispute is resolved in accordance with the parties’ agreement and expectations. Many of the powers conferred on the arbitral tribunal are subject to the proviso that the parties may agree otherwise.

Ruling on substantive jurisdiction

Article 16 of the Model Law, given effect to by AO, s 34, empowers the arbitral tribunal to rule on its substantive jurisdiction. The arbitral tribunal has the power to determine any challenge regarding the existence or validity of the arbitration agreement, the constitution of the arbitral tribunal as well as whether the matters submitted fall within the scope of the arbitration agreement.

The tribunal also has jurisdiction to decide on a counterclaim or a claim for set-off provided those claims fall within the scope of the arbitration agreement.

The tribunal is able to rule on its jurisdiction as a preliminary question or in an award on the merits. If the tribunal