The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
("HKIAC") has introduced the new HKIAC Procedures for the
Administration of Arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules
(the "New Procedures"), effective as of January 1, 2015.
The New Procedures provide one system that conforms with all
versions of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, superseding the
HKIAC's previous procedures for the administration of
arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.
The New Procedures were introduced to unify the arbitral process
for arbitrations being conducted in accordance with the UNCITRAL
Arbitration Rules, regardless of whether it was the 1976 or 2010
version that was being used.
Application of the New Procedures
The New Procedures apply to all arbitrations commencing on or
after January 1, 2015, pursuant to an agreement to arbitrate or a
treaty that protects investments or investors, which either (i)
provides for the New Procedures to apply or (ii) stipulates that
the HKIAC administer arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration
Rules, or words to similar effect.
Key Highlights of the New Procedures
Serving Notice of Arbitration and Response to the Notice
of Arbitration (Article 6 and 7). Parties who want to
initiate recourse to arbitration must submit a notice of
arbitration to the HKIAC and serve the notice to all other parties
in the arbitration. Those parties, within 30 days of the receipt of
notice, must file a response to the HKIAC and serve the response to
all other parties in the arbitration. This provision now puts the
onus on the parties (as opposed to the HKIAC) to serve the notice
and response on the other parties.
Procedure for Challenging Arbitrators (Article
10). This new provision allows the HKIAC to decide a
challenge to an arbitrator in accordance with the procedures in the
applicable practice note. The practice note stipulates details such
as how and when a challenge must be made, the need for payment of a
registration fee of HK$50,000, how the other party and challenged
arbitrator may respond, and that the HKIAC is under no obligation
to give reasons for its determination when it decides whether to
allow or reject a challenge.
FaciePower to Proceed (Article 11).
When there is a challenge to the existence, validity, or scope of
the arbitration agreement(s) or to the competence of the HKIAC to
administer the arbitration before the constitution of the arbitral
tribunal, the HKIAC can let an arbitration proceed if it is
satisfied, prima facie, that an arbitration agreement may
exist under the New Procedures.
Deposit of Costs (Article 16). The parties will
deposit with the HKIAC an equal amount as an advance for the costs
of the arbitration and may be requested by the HKIAC (after
consultation with the arbitral tribunal) to make further
Exclusion of Liability (Article 19). Except for
dishonest acts done or omitted to be done, certain parties are not
liable for any act or liability in connection with the arbitration.
These parties include the HKIAC, its personnel, other bodies
designated by the HKIAC to perform functions referred to in the New
Procedures, the arbitral tribunal, any tribunal-appointed expert,
or a secretary of the arbitral tribunal. Furthermore, they are not
required to make further statements concerning the arbitration or
appear as witness in any proceedings arising out of the arbitration
once the arbitral award has been made and the possibilities of
correction, interpretation, and additional awards have been
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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