Arbitration (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 now fully operational

On 19 May 2021, Part 2 of the Arbitration (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 (‘Amendment Ordinance‘) came into operation, making amendments to the Arbitration Ordinance (Cap 609) necessary to fully implement the Supplemental Arrangement Concerning Mutual Enforcement of Arbitral Awards between the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (‘Supplemental Arrangement‘) signed between the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China on November 27, 2020.

Two of the measures under the Supplemental Arrangement are the removals of the requirement that Mainland arbitral awards must be made by a ‘recognized‘ Mainland arbitral institution to be enforced in Hong Kong, and of the restriction against concurrent proceedings in Mainland and Hong Kong courts for enforcement of an arbitral award.  To implement these measures, it was necessary to amend Section 2 and repeal Sections 93 and 97 of the Arbitration Ordinance, which has now been done by way of the Amendment Ordinance.  It is hoped that these changes will assist parties in cross-border enforcement of arbitral awards.

For completeness, the Amendment Ordinance also amends the Arbitration (Parties to New York Convention) Order to add Ethiopia, Palau, Sierra Leone and Tonga as parties to the New York Convention.

The text of the Amendment Ordinance is available here.

22 July 2021