Home-grown eBRAM to resolve cross-border disputes under APEC Collaborative Framework for ODR

Over the years, the use of technology has not only facilitated the day-to-day practice of the legal industry, but also strengthened Hong Kong’s position as the leading centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific Region. The Department of Justice (DoJ) is always committed to encouraging and supporting the legal sector to strengthen LawTech capabilities as we move towards popularising LawTech in the long run.

In this regard, I am glad to share with you the good news that eBRAM International Online Dispute Resolution Centre (eBRAM Centre) has been listed as one of the providers for the APEC Collaborative Framework for Online Dispute Resolution of Cross-Border Business-to-Business Disputes (APEC ODR Framework).

In August 2019, the APEC Economic Committee endorsed the APEC ODR Framework and model procedural rules, with micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as the major beneficiary. The APEC ODR Framework promotes the use of ODR by global enterprises (MSMEs in particular) to resolve low-value cross-border disputes. Hong Kong, China has opted into the APEC ODR Framework in April 2020.

Representatives from Hong Kong, including experts from eBRAM Centre have been participating actively in the work under the APEC ODR Framework such as various APEC workshops and webinars as well as the APEC Economic Committee meetings.

In June 2021, the eBRAM Centre launched the APEC ODR procedural rules tailor-made for the APEC ODR Framework, which aims to provide a fast and affordable resort to commercial disputes among the APEC economies to MSMEs through the use of electronic communications and other information technologies. In February 2022, the eBRAM Centre indicated to the APEC its commitment to become an ODR service provider for APEC economies and certified its compliance with the APEC ODR Framework and its Model Procedural Rules.

Earlier this month, the eBRAM Centre has been officially listed by APEC on its website as one of the very first batch of ODR service providers under the APEC ODR Framework.

This encouraging international development, together with the ongoing work undertaken by the Inclusive Global Legal Innovation Platform on ODR (iGLP on ODR) with support by the DoJ Project Office in Collaboration with UNCITRAL, would further contribute to the international development and usage of ODR, which will, at the same time, strengthen the position of Hong Kong as a leading international dispute resolution centre.

May 15, 2022