In 1981, when this report was published, only a small number of arbitrations were conducted in Hong Kong each year. In order to meet the needs of both the local and international business community, the report made a number of recommendations to improve the legislative framework for arbitration.
The law then allowed two forms of judicial review of arbitral awards. An award could be set aside for errors on the face of the arbitral award or by way of special case-stated procedure. The report recommended a new system of arbitration based on reasoned awards, with the High Court given power to order the arbitrator to give sufficient reasons. A right of appeal to the High Court on questions of law was recommended, with a requirement that leave be obtained from the High Court. The right of further appeal to the Court of Appeal would be strictly limited. This new system was intended to favour finality in arbitral awards.
To prevent delay, the report recommended that the High Court should have the power to confer on the arbitrator the power to proceed with the arbitration in default of appearance, or of any other act by one of the parties.
The report's recommendations were adopted by the Arbitration (Amendment) Ordinance in 1982.
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