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

The following Arbitration practice 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 court in relation to arbitration
  • Stay court proceedings and refer the parties to arbitration
  • Extending time limits to commence arbitral proceedings
  • Default appointment powers
  • Challenges to and termination of arbitrator’s appointment
  • Challenges to the jurisdiction of the tribunal
  • Interim measures
  • Interim measures arrangement—Hong Kong and Mainland China
  • Enforce orders and directions made by the tribunal, including interim relief
  • Securing the attendance of a witness and production of documents
  • More...

The Arbitration Ordinance, Chapter 609 (AO) is drafted with the aim of ensuring minimum court intervention in the arbitral process. The court’s powers to intervene are restricted to those expressly provided for in the AO. Most of the court’s powers are directed towards supporting the arbitral process.

Stay court proceedings and refer the parties to arbitration

The court will enforce arbitration agreements by staying court proceedings commenced in defiance of an arbitration agreement. Where an action is brought before a court in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration agreement and if a party requests it to do so, the court shall refer the parties to arbitration and stay the legal proceedings unless it finds the agreement null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed.

Extending time limits to commence arbitral proceedings

Sometimes parties include requirements in the arbitration agreement that steps be taken to commence the arbitration or another dispute resolution procedure as a predecessor to the arbitration within a stipulated time frame, eg a requirement that any claim must be brought by issuing a notice of arbitration within two years of project completion.

AO, s 58 applies to an arbitration agreement that provides for a claim to be barred or for a claimant’s right to be extinguished unless the claimant takes a step:

  1. to commence arbitral proceedings, or

  2. to commence any other dispute resolution

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