Students interested in developing skills in the area of international business transactions and dispute resolution are invited to apply for an upcoming program to be offered by Hamline and Shue Yan Universities this June 2013. The program features: negotiation preparation, the ongoing management of a negotiation process, and the identification and achievement of optimal agreements. The program will examine the legal and ethical constraints of negotiation in a transnational context. Course content will be drawn from the fields of law, psychology, business, and communication. More information about this program can be found here.
Hart Publishing has recently released a new book by Kun Fan entitled, “Arbitration in China: A Legal and Cultural Analysis”. The book explains contemporary arbitration in China from an interdisciplinary perspective and with a comparative approach, setting Chinese arbitration in its wider social context to aid understanding of its history, contemporary practice, the legal obstacles to modern arbitration and possible future trends. More information can be found here. Congratulations Dr. Fan!
Findings from a recently completed research project funded under the Hong Kong Research Grants Council Public Policy Scheme (HKU7001-PPR-10) which involved a multi-jurisdictional empirical study about the development and design of these mechanisms in East Asia, North America and Europe have been concluded. Using a comparative methodology and drawing on empirical findings from a multi-jurisdictional survey, the research examines the emergence of global principles that influence the design of financial dispute resolution models, considers the structural variations between the ombuds and arbitration systems and offers practical proposals for reform.
Among the suggested recommendations include the following:
1. Evaluating the efficacy of systems of financial dispute resolution on the basis of principles of fairness, impartiality, transparency and consistency.
2. Further examining the beneficial checks and balances for consumers that are incorporated into the financial ombudsman model designed in the UK and Australia.
3. Improving accessibility of systems of financial adr via the expansion of eligible complainants beyond individuals and scaling the charges for different types of user;
4. Development of early stage dispute resolution aimed at narrowing down the factual disputes and issues between the parties in order to enhance the efficiency of later stages; and
5. Increasing the limit on awards as well as the claim amount to further enhance accessibility
Other ideas include improving efficiency through the possible adoption of a test case mechanism, frequent meetings of staff to share experiences and views on claims and claim-handling.
The need to bridge the knowledge gap for consumers again speaks to a principle of fairness by ensuring a level playing field in terms of information―particularly about the true value of claims, as the Minibonds crisis in Hong Kong served to demonstrate.
A new book to be published by Cambridge University Press, entitled “Consumer Financial Dispute Resolution in a Comparative Context,” will be released in May of 2013. The book, written by Shahla Ali of the University of Hong Kong, explores how systems of financial dispute resolution aim to assist parties to resolve a growing number of monetary disputes with financial institutions. The book presents comparative research about the development and design of these mechanisms in East Asia, North America and Europe. Using a comparative methodology and drawing on empirical findings from a multi-jurisdictional survey, Shahla Ali examines the emergence of global principles that influence the design of financial dispute resolution models, considers the structural variations between the ombuds and arbitration systems and offers practical proposals for reform.
Some early reviews of the book are included below:
‘This book provides a wide-ranging comparative assessment that will be of great value to anyone analyzing or designing dispute resolution systems for consumer disputes. The detailed descriptions of arbitration and ombudsman mechanisms in six countries, as well as Dr Ali’s recommendations, illuminate the continuing evolution of global norms for dispute resolution.’ Stephanie E. Smith, Lecturer, Stanford Law School
‘This is a valuable primer to the growing universe of consumer financial arbitration, particularly with its emphasis on countries in the Asia Pacific region.’ Michael Hwang, Michael Hwang Chambers, Singapore
‘This comprehensive volume breaks new ground in surveying and comparing multiple dispute resolution systems across world regions against a backdrop of carefully outlined principles including fairness, impartiality, transparency and consistency. Well-written, thoughtful and empirically supported, it is a ‘must-read’ for scholars, practitioners and end-users of commercial dispute resolution. It also productively outlines a way forward for practice in this area informed by best practices from a range of contexts.’ Michelle LeBaron, University of British Columbia
‘Anyone interested in the intersection of consumers, monetary disputes with financial institutions, and turbulent financial markets must read this book. It provides an articulate and thoughtful comparison of processes, from mediation and conciliation to ombudsmen, arbitration and litigation, taking us around the world to the UK, Australia, Japan, the US, China, Singapore and Hong Kong to look at differing systems of dispute resolution.’ Lela P. Love, Director, Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution and the Cardozo Mediation Clinic, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York
For those interested in learning more about a post with the newly opened Financial Dispute Resolution Centre in Hong Kong, please see the following announcement seeking applications for the post of mediation coordinator. All the best with your applications!
In November of this month, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Centre for ADR and the International Chamber of Commerce – Hong Kong, China are co-organizing an ADR workshop with a focus on practical aspects in mediating international commercial disputes: “Win-win strategies: Effective and Successful Mediation for International Commercial Disputes”. Further information can be found at the following link.
On June 19, 2012, the Hong Kong Financial Dispute Resolution Centre opened with the aim of enhancing investor protection and financial dispute resolution. According to Professor KC Chan who spoke at the opening ceremony, in the wake of the global financial crisis, the Government considered it necessary to establish a financial dispute resolution mechanism to further enhance investor protection. The opening of the Center followed a two year establishment period beginning with the HK Government’s decision to establish a Centre following public consultation in 2010.
On March 26 of this year, the Huanyu China ASEAN Legal Cooperation Center opened in Haikou, south China’s Hainan province. According to the People’s Daily online, the ‘center will serve as a bridge among the legal circles of China and the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).’ The opening of the Center, supported by ASEAN member states, was coordinated through the joint efforts of CLS-affiliated China Law Center of Academic Exchanges, Beijing Dacheng Law Firm and the Hainan Provincial Arbitration Committee. More information can be found here.
Two recent postings for full and part time mediation positions with the Hong Kong Financial Dispute Resolution center and the Law Society of Hong Kong have been announced. More information on the FDRC posting can be found here. Information regarding the post of mediation co-ordinator for the Law Society can be found here.
The newly established Hong Kong Collaborative Practice Group recently took on its first case to assist a divorcing couple settle its disputes amicably. Collaborative Practice is an method of out of court practice that draws on the combined support of lawyers, financial and health professionals to assist parties to craft their own settlements. More information on this development can be found here.