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Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre publishes new UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules

Timothy Hill

Timothy Hill,

Hong Kong

Damon So

Damon So,

Hong Kong

Mark Lin

Mark Lin,

Hong Kong

20 January 2015
On 1 January 2015, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) introduced the HKIAC Procedures for the Administration of Arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (the "2015 Rules").

The 2015 Rules are designed to provide a single, user-friendly system for arbitrations conducted under any version of the UNCITRAL rules.  The 2015 Rules apply equally to international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations.

The key changes include:

(a) Notice and Response of Arbitration: There are now express provisions regarding the filing of the Notice of Arbitration and its Response. The parties, rather than HKIAC are now responsible for serving the Notice and Response on all other parties.

(b) Procedure for challenging arbitrators: Whereas the old rules were silent on the process for challenging arbitrators, the 2015 Rules stipulate that challenges to an arbitrator must be made in accordance with the applicable practice note. Our ARBlog entry on the practice note can be found here.

(c) HKIAC’s prima facie power to proceed: Under the 2015 Rules, HKIAC has a prima facie power to proceed when facing a question as to the existence, validity or scope of the arbitration agreement(s) or to the competence of HKIAC to administer the arbitration before the constitution of the arbitral tribunal (Article 11).  No such power was expressly provided for under the old rules.

(d) Exclusion of liability: HKIAC and its personnel are now excluded from liability, absent dishonesty, when performing any function under the 2015 Rules.  Similarly the tribunal, once all avenues of correction, interpretation and additional awards have been exhausted, is excluded from having to make further statements or appears as witness in any future proceedings.

The 2015 Rules incorporate updates which bring them into conformity with all versions of the UNCITRAL Rules, i.e. the 1976 and 2010 or 2013 versions. The 2015 Rules now apply to arbitrations commenced on or after 1 January 2015 pursuant to an arbitration agreement or an investment treaty which either provides that the 2015 Rules apply or provides for the arbitration to be administered by HKIAC under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules or words to similar effect.

A full copy of the 2015 Rules can be found here.

Timothy Hill

Timothy Hill,

Hong Kong

Damon So

Damon So,

Hong Kong

Mark Lin

Mark Lin,

Hong Kong

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