Comparative Guides
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Results: 4 Answers
International Arbitration
9.
The role of the court during an arbitration
9.1
Will the court in your jurisdiction stay proceedings and refer parties to arbitration if there is an arbitration agreement?
 
Hong Kong
Section 20 of the Arbitration Ordinance (AO) provides that where a claim is brought before the court in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration agreement, a party to the claim can request that the parties be referred to arbitration. If one party to an arbitration agreement commences legal proceedings in any court against the other party, the latter may apply to stay the court proceedings in favour of arbitration.

The Hong Kong court will refuse to stay the proceedings in either of the following situations:

  • A party has submitted its first statement on the substance of the dispute; or
  • The arbitration agreement is null and void, or is inoperative or incapable of being performed.
For more information about this answer please contact: Nick Gall from Gall
9.2
Does the court in your jurisdiction have any powers in relation to an arbitration seated in your jurisdiction and/or seated outside your jurisdiction? What are these powers? Under what conditions are these powers exercised?
 
Hong Kong
Broadly speaking, the court have the powers to:

  • enforce an arbitration agreement under Section 20 (see question 32);
  • support the conduct of arbitral proceedings, which includes, among other things:
    • ruling on the termination of an arbitrator’s mandate if called on by one of the parties to determine a challenge to an arbitrator’s appointment (Section 26 of the AO);
    • ruling on whether an arbitrator has become unable to perform his or her functions or has failed to act without undue delay (Section 27 of the AO);
    • ruling on a challenge that the arbitral tribunal does not have jurisdiction to decide a dispute (Section 34(5) of the AO);
    • granting interim measures (Section 45 of the AO);
    • assisting with the taking of evidence on the request of an arbitral tribunal (Section 55 of the AO);
    • making an order to direct the inspection, photographing, preservation, custody, detention or sale of a relevant property by the arbitral tribunal, as long as the arbitral proceedings are capable of giving rise to an arbitral award (whether interim or final) that may be enforced in Hong Kong (Section 60 of the AO);
    • granting an extension of time to commence arbitral proceedings where no arbitral tribunal has been appointed (Section 58 of the AO); or
    • dismissing a party’s claim for unreasonable delay (Section 59 of the AO; see question 17); and
  • set aside an award based on the ground(s) in Section 81 of the AO (see question 41).
For more information about this answer please contact: Nick Gall from Gall
9.3
Can the parties exclude the court's powers by agreement?
 
Hong Kong
No.

For more information about this answer please contact: Nick Gall from Gall
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