Hong Kong’s COVID-19 ODR Scheme

From the announcement page on Hong Kong’s new ODR program for low value disputes:

“In view of the severe economic repercussions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic globally and locally, the Government announced another package of measures to support the affected individuals and businesses last Wednesday. Two of which are particularly relevant to the legal and dispute resolution sector – LawTech Fund and COVID-19 Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Scheme. The LawTech Fund was briefly introduced in this blog a few days ago (https://www.doj.gov.hk/eng/public/blog/20200411_blog1.html). Today, I would like to give an outline of the COVID-19 ODR.

In anticipation of an upsurge of disputes arising from or relating to COVID-19, the Scheme aims to provide speedy and cost-effective means to resolve such disputes, especially for those involving micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that may be adversely affected or hard hit by the pandemic. The Scheme will engage eBRAM to provide ODR services to the general public and businesses, in particular MSMEs, involved in low value disputes…

It is a global trend to develop and use ODR to provide reliable and efficient platform to facilitate alternative dispute resolution. The Scheme is in line with the development under Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Collaborative Framework on ODR (APEC Framework), with MSMEs as the major beneficiary. The mechanism of adopting negotiation and mediation in the first stage under the APEC Framework is also to prevent entrenched views on the conflicts, thereby helping to create harmony in society.”

Read more:
https://www.doj.gov.hk/eng/public/blog/20200413_blog1.html

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