Justice chief promotes mediation

Top News | Stella Wong 27 May 2019

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng promoted mediation on her first blog post.

But she refrained from commenting on private arbitration jobs she had been handling when she took up the justice post last year.

Cheng had approval from Chief Executive Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to continue handling six cases close to completion as she took office, and income from them went to charity.

But on Friday came a claim that after Cheng took office on January 6 last year she was involved in three cases that were far from being completed or had not even started, raising a possibility of misconduct.

The cases involved disputes between three energy companies against the governments of Bulgaria, Spain and Romania.

According to records of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, Cheng quit the arbitration panels for three cases early last year.

Cheng said on Friday that two of the three cases reported were among the six she had approval from Lam to finish. But she did not see a need to report a third case as she had resigned from it before taking office. And she was no longer involved in any cases.

Back to the present, Cheng said on her blog that the Department of Justice embraced mediation.

"Mediation allows parties to a dispute to resolve conflicts in amicable and constructive ways," she said. "With the assistance of a mediator it can produce a mutually acceptable settlement."

Cheng also aimed to inform people about mediation through accounts from the department's Inclusive Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Office.


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