In 2009, the Department of Justice ("DoJ") launched a campaign called “Mediate First” Pledge to promote the use of mediation to resolve disputes in Hong Kong ("Campaign"). The purpose of the Campaign is to encourage companies and organisations to make a pledge, namely the “Mediate First” Pledge (the "Pledge"). The Pledge is a statement of commitment to use mediation which is a flexible and constructive approach in resolving disputes. It allows parties to a dispute, with the assistance of an impartial mediator, to resolve conflicts in amicable and constructive ways that produce mutually acceptable settlement while keeping the risks, costs and time in control.
By making the Pledge, the Pledgee acknowledges its readiness to explore the use of mediation as a means of dispute resolution before resorting to other dispute resolution processes including court litigation. It is a confirmation and manifestation by the Pledgees of their commitment to use mediation.
So far, more than 850 companies, organisations/associations and individuals have made the Pledge.
In the Campaign, the DoJ will distribute to Pledgees a “Mediate First” Pledge logo (“MFP Logo”) for display at their shops, outlets and/or workplace. A Pledgee may also adopt the MFP Logo (without any modifications) and display it on its letterhead and other publications. The MFP Logo serves to identify a Pledgee’s status as a subscriber to the Pledge. It also represents a commitment of the Pledgee to prefer mediation to other means to resolve disputes and the Pledgee’s recognition of the benefits of using mediation in resolving disputes.
On 13 June 2017, the DoJ formally launched the “Mediate First” Pledge Star Logo Award Scheme (“Award Scheme”). The first “Mediate First” Star Logo Award Presentation Ceremony was held during the “Mediate First” Pledge Event 2019.
Under the Award Scheme, the DoJ will award a “Mediate First” Pledge Star Logo (“Star Logo”) to Pledgees who can demonstrate that they have met one or more of the criteria listed below (“Award Criteria”). The award of the Star Logo is a recognition of a Pledgee’s achievements in promoting and adopting mediation in the Pledgee’s practice. Similar to the MFP Logo, Pledgees who are awarded the Star Logo are encouraged to display it at their shops, outlets and/or workplace. Pledgees may also adopt the Star Logo (without any modifications) for display on their letterhead and other publications.
Prior to the next “Mediate First” Pledge event, the DoJ will invite all Pledgees to fill in a questionnaire to indicate whether they have met any of the Award Criteria and to provide information in support. Those Pledgees who have met the Award Criteria will be awarded the Star Logo at the next “Mediate First” Pledge event.
The Award Criteria are: