CityU hosts international conference to promote mediation development in law
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The conference has significant implications for the local legal education on mediation and the application of mediation to the settlement of international and commercial disputes. Since the kick-off of the Civil Justice Reform in early April, the HKSAR Government is keen to promote and expand the mediation service beyond the scope of construction and family disputes to cover the business sector. Furthermore, mediation has proved to be a cost-effective way to settle disputes and ensure fairness to all parties concerned in other jurisdictions. The education on mediation has become an integral part in local legal development.
At the inauguration of the conference, most of the guests analysed how mediation was applied in their respective societies.
Professor Richard Ho Yan-ki, Provost of CityU, pointed out, "In our age-old Chinese culture, people emphasise the 'golden mean'. Hong Kong has a long tradition of common law, which has established a framework for arbitration and mediation. Our special cultural background provides a good foundation for the growth of mediation service."
Professor Wang Guiguo, Dean of SLW, added, "With our close relationship with China, we have a solid foundation for further developing mediation service to meet the global needs. CityU, as one of the major legal education institutions in Hong Kong, has a responsibility to strengthen our professional training in mediation for law practitioners and students. This conference has marked the 'first step in a thousand-mile-long journey'."
Mr Benedict Lai Ying-sie, Law Officer (Civil Law) of Department of Justice, HKSAR, said, "The global trend is moving towards facilitating and promoting a wider use of mediation to resolve civil disputes. We are going along the trend. I am sure the participants will find this conference useful in promoting mediation."
"Hong Kong Bar Association has launched a series of courses in mediation. We are thankful to CityU for organising this international conference and providing a platform to help law scholars and practitioners exchange their views on mediation," said Mr Russell Coleman, SC, Chairman of Hong Kong Bar Association.
Professor Wang Liming, Vice-President and Dean of School of Law of
Renmin University of China and Professor Yu Jianlong, Vice-Chairman and Secretary General of China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, commented that mediation could create a win-win situation for all parties concerned since they ensure they stay in harmonious relationships.
The two-day conference covered the mediation practices in other jurisdictions and discussed China's mediation experience, the application of mediation to commercial and international disputes, and the role of Hong Kong lawyers. It also conducted a comparative mediation - arbitration discussion.