Hong Kong Encourages Mediation in Civil Cases
Hong Kong’s new practice direction on mediation will come into effect in early January 2010. This Hong Kong Civil Justice Reform provides for adverse cost sanctions against parties who unreasonably refuse to participate in mediation prior to trial. Open questions remain as to how courts in Hong Kong will construe unreasonable refusal.
Once in force, on 1 January 2010, PD 31 will apply to all civil proceedings in the Court of First Instance and the District Court, except for proceedings in the Equal Opportunities List and tax recovery proceedings under the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap.112).