The biennial "Mediate First" Pledge Event organised by the Department of Justice (DoJ) was held today (May 5) under the theme "Mediate First - Let's Do This Together" to further promote the mediation culture by encouraging different sectors of the community to explore the use of mediation to resolve disputes, thereby consolidating Hong Kong's status as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia Pacific region.
The Secretary for Justice, Mr Paul Lam, SC, said that since the "Mediate First" Pledge Event was first held in 2013, the promotion and development of mediation have made significant progress in these 10 years, including the establishment of the International Organization for Mediation Preparatory Office earlier this year. He emphasised that the DoJ will continue to make its best efforts in the local, Mainland and international promotion of mediation culture, facilitating and developing the wider use of mediation to resolve conflicts in amicable and constructive ways that produce mutually acceptable settlements.
The Mediation Forum, as the first part of the event, started with opening remarks by the Secretary for Justice and the keynote speech by the Director-General of the International Organization for Mediation Preparatory Office, Dr Sun Jin. It was followed by a session on the Synergy of Mediation in Case Settlement Conference presented by judges and lawyers. The Chairman of the Judiciary's Working Party on Mediation, Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal Mr Justice Johnson Lam, gave his concluding remarks at the end of the session. The Mediation Lab was held in the afternoon, featuring a drama to explore with the audience how mediation can be used to resolve different types of disputes in daily life. Legal practitioners and mediators also shared their practical perspectives on resolving day-to-day interpersonal conflicts during the panel discussion. The forum was concluded by the Deputy Secretary for Justice, Mr Cheung Kwok-kwan, who delivered the closing remarks.
The signing ceremony of the "Mediate First" Pledge and the Star Logo Award Presentation Ceremony were held right after the forum. The Law Officer (Civil Law) of the DoJ, Ms Christina Cheung, presented awards to the pledgees. This year, a total of 32 pledgees have been awarded the Star Logo for their achievements in promoting and adopting mediation in the course of their business operations.
Organisations and individuals signing the "Mediate First" Pledge agree to first explore the use of mediation to resolve disputes arising in the course of their business dealings and operations, before pursuing other dispute resolution processes or court litigation. More than 800 organisations and individuals have signed the Pledge since its launch in 2009.
This year, the new Mediation Information Fair was held concurrently with main event, facilitating a better understanding of the mediation services and related information provided by government departments and mediation organisations.
Details on the "Mediate First" Pledge Event 2023 are available on its dedicated website. For more information on mediation and other dispute resolution services, please visit the designated Facebook page, LinkedIn and Weibo.
Ends/Friday, May 5, 2023