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Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)

I. Definition


The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) is a dispute resolution institution based in Hong Kong, which specialises in administering arbitrations, adjudications, domain name dispute resolutions, and mediations. While HKIAC is a Hong Kong-based institution, it has representative offices in both Seoul and Shanghai. Also, based on its 2020 case statistics, more than 70% of the arbitrations submitted to the HKIAC are international in nature.1

II. History


Founded in 1985, the HKIAC was established by a group of leading business people and professionals to meet the growing need for dispute resolution services in Asia.2 Today, the HKIAC is financially self-sufficient and completely free from any sort of (governmental) influence or control.3

III. Structure


The HKIAC is governed by a Board of Council Members, which consists of leading business people and professionals across different disciplines who possess a wide variety of skills and experience.4 Also, it has an International Advisory Board to provide guidance and advice on a policy level. The Executive Committee, consisting of three standing committees, namely Proceedings, Appointments, and the Finance and Administration Committees, serves as the principal body directing the activities of HKIAC.5


The Secretariat of the HKIAC, led by the Secretary-General, provides administrative support in day to day dispute resolution proceedings. Further, the HKIAC Secretariat is composed of qualified legal counsel and deputy counsel, who are available to act as tribunal secretary in cases brought under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules or HKIAC Administered Arbitration Rules, or ad hoc arbitrations.6

IV. HKIAC rules and practice notes


For institutional arbitrations, the HKIAC Administered Arbitration Rules were first issued in 2008, and subsequently updated in 2013 and 2018 respectively. The Rules have been adopted by the Council of the HKIAC for use by parties who seek the procedural flexibility and cost-effectiveness of an arbitration administered by HKIAC. Separately, the HKIAC Procedures for the Administration of Arbitration under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules were first issued in 1986 (and updated in 2005 and 2015 respectively). This set of rules is designed for use by parties who seek the advantages of administered arbitration while maintaining the flexibility afforded by the 1976 or 2010 version of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.7


The HKIAC has also administered investor-State arbitrations. In 2018, two investor-State arbitrations were submitted to HKIAC under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.8 The HKIAC also administered the case Jin Hae Seo v. Republic of Korea.9


For domestic arbitrations, the HKIAC introduced the HKIAC Domestic Arbitration Rules in 1993, which were updated in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The Rules are for use by parties seeking "a set of formal and convenient procedures for ad hoc arbitration in Hong Kong."10

V. Affiliated bodies


HKIAC has two main affiliated bodies. HKIAC Users Council aims to promote the growing interest of arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution in the Asia-Pacific region, and to provide a platform for the exchange of information and experience among users of dispute settlement services.11


HK45 is the group for all young arbitration practitioners in Asia and beyond, which aims to promote arbitration in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC).

Moser, M. and Bao, C., A Guide to the HKIAC Arbitration Rules, Oxford University Press, 2017.

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