Online dispute resolution under way

Local | Stella Wong 8 Aug 2019

The government is supporting a non-government organization in developing an online platform for dispute resolution and eliminate the physical limitations of the process, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah said.

In her blog yesterday, Cheng wrote she visited the Beijing Internet Court last month.

The Beijing Internet Court adopts an e-litigation platform and uses artificial intelligence technology to generate pleas, real time voice-to-text and basic information of judgments.

"Hearings are conducted through the electronic platform of which parties involved in litigation can appear in court online. The court, integrated with intelligent technology, provides easy access to justice to all parties," she said.

While Hong Kong is not planning to develop an internet court anytime soon, it is developing an online platform for dispute resolution and deal making.

"It will not only facilitate the development of local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and legal professionals under the Belt and Road and Greater Bay Area Initiatives, but also create synergy with existing dispute resolution service providers," she said. She added that Electronic Business Related Arbitration and Mediation, a non-government organization, will be developing the platform.

Cheng said one of the aspects under development is making use of artificial intelligence and advanced technology to provide a secure platform for the upload, download and exchange of case materials to assist parties in resolving disputes and entering business deals.

Cheng said that in order to ensure the platform runs smoothly once it is developed, eBRAM employees are visiting different places, such as the Beijing Internet Court, to learn more about the technology used on e-litigation platforms.

At the same time, they are also sharing their experiences with institutions from other countries and even joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's discussion on the development of online dispute resolution platforms.

She believes cost-effective online dispute resolution services will become a growing trend.

"The government will continue to actively promote LawTech. We hope that eBRAM will provide a more convenient way to gain access to justice in a bid to strengthen our rule of law," she said.

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