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Aims & Philosophy

Hong Kong is an ideal venue for the arbitration and mediation of disputes arising from international commercial and financial investment in Hong Kong, mainland China and the rest of the Asian region. The HKSAR Government has stated its goal of further enhancing Hong Kong as a leading regional and international centre for dispute resolution. In order to train professionals with the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise in dispute resolution methods, particularly negotiation, mediation and arbitration, the HKU Faculty of law introduced an innovative cross-disciplinary Master of Laws programme specializing in arbitration and dispute resolution in September 2007 under the direction of Katherine Lynch.

The LL.M. Degree in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution is particularly important given the commitment of the HKSAR Government to further develop arbitration and mediation in Hong Kong, as well as the reform of Hong Kong's civil justice system recently introduced by the HKSAR Chief Justice. Many of these reforms involve the use of negotiation, mediation and other forms of dispute resolution within the judicial system and the development of community based mediation and dispute resolution schemes to efficiently resolve disputes among citizens in Hong Kong. The new specialized LL.M. programme seeks to better serve the dispute resolution needs of Hong Kong's business, commercial and broader community, and to advance the HKU Faculty of Law as a regional and international centre of excellence in the teaching and research of negotiation, mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution generally.

The LL.M. Degree in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution is designed to:

  • provide students with specialized interdisciplinary teaching and research in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution generally with professional accreditation;

  • establish a collaborative network of dispute resolution expertise with local and overseas academics and dispute resolution professionals, with particular emphasis on the Asia Pacific region;

  • allow students to interact with leading dispute resolution professionals and scholars specializing in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution generally;

  • establish a related program of conferences, seminars, workshops and annual public lectures dealing with negotiation, mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution generally; and

  • develop a strong alumni network in Hong Kong specializing in arbitration and dispute resolution.


The LL.M. in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution programme is led by Professor Dr. Shahla Ali (Director).

Teaching and Assessment

Professors teaching in the LL.M. in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution are leading local and international dispute resolution scholars and practitioners. We are fortunate to have Mr. Philip Yang, a well-known Hong Kong and international arbitrator, past Chairman of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, to teach Arbitration Law and Arbitration Practice, Procedure & Drafting (including Award Writing) in the past years. Mr. Albert Leung, who also specializes in arbitration and expert witness works, now takes up the main teaching role for the Arbitration Practice course and is assisted by a number of distinguished practicing arbitrators, including Professor Reyes, Sunny Yeung, Danny Choi, Yeung Ming Tai, Dennis Cai, Ernest Yang and Christopher To. Leading international practitioners also teach our courses - Professor David Newton (from Australia) conducts the Mediation course and Professor David Plant (from the USA) helped teach the Negotiation course. Many HKU Faculty of Law staff members are also involved in teaching the compulsory courses for non-law students in our LL.M. programme, including Professors Janice Brabyn and Alex Mak. Other Law Faculty staff offer various compulsory and elective courses related to arbitration and dispute resolution, including Professors Shahla Ali, James Fry, Gu Weixia, Li Ya Hong, Katherine Lynch, Zhang Xian Chu and Zhao Yun. Courses in the L.L.M. in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution are taught by a variety of methods - some as lectures and tutorials, some as seminars and many using small and large group discussions. Students will frequently engage in a variety of role play simulations to develop negotiation and mediation skills and DVD simulations and videotape assessment and feedback for students are often used.

The LL.M. In Arbitration and Dispute Resolution also offers students a unique opportunity to interact with leading international mediators, arbitrators, and other dispute resolution professionals. In past years, LL.M. students have been involved in a wide variety of seminars, workshops and lectures hosted by the LL.M. in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution with the following distinguished scholars and professionals:

  • Professor Jan Paulsson, Leading international lawyer and international arbitrator, Partner with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, President of the London Court of International Arbitration

  • Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, Faculty of Law at University College London (and Honorary Fellow)

  • Mr. Philip Howell-Richardson, Chairman of the ADR Group and Mr. David Plant, both distinguished international mediators

  • Mr. William "Laurie" Craig, Leading international arbitrator and Senior Counsel, Coudert Bros in association with Orick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

  • Mr. Michel Kallipetls, QC. Chairman of the UK Bar Council ADR Committee and Mr. William Marsh, one of the UK's most experienced commercial mediators

  • Professor Arnold Zack, international Arbitrator and Research Associate, Harvard Law School

Alumni Association

The Alumni Association was founded in 2009 and consists of a group of HKU Master of Laws in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution graduates with diverse professional backgrounds. Our mission is to promote and strengthen a culture of early dispute resolution in all walks of life in Hong Kong and greater China.

Committee Members of the LL.M. in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Alumni Association

Chairperson: Ms Saniza Othman
Vice-Chairperson: Dr Liu Ngar Fun
Secretary: Mr Michael Wong
Treasurer: Dr Derek Ling
Committee Member: Mr Jacky Lai
Committee Member: Ms Sherry Fong
Committee Member: Dr Byran Wong
Committee Member: Ms Betty Co


There are three membership categories: Ordinary Members, Associate Members and Student Members.

(a) Membership of Ordinary Member shall be open to HKU graduates of LLM (Arbitration and Dispute Resolution) program.

(b) Membership of Associate Members shall be open to:
Legal practitioners;
HKU graduates in other disciplines.

(c) Membership of Student Members shall be open to:
HKU students from LLM (Arbitration and Dispute Resolution) program;
HKU students from other programs.

Membership Application/ Renewal Form (PDF)

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