Information about promoting HK as global legal services hub

Simon Wang made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Justice

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was refused by Department of Justice.

Dear Sir/Madam
Referring to my request of information about arbitration services offered in Hong Kong, I understand that the DoJ is now reviewing the case. I'd like to draw your attention to a letter to the editor my student and I publish in SCMP today: https://www.scmp.com/comment/letters/art... asking DoJ to be more transparent.
As DoJ staff are well-versed on legal matters, you probably don't really care of any legal consequences of not complying with the Code on Access to Information. Yet, please be informed that this case will be further discussed in the media and among Legislative Council members.
From now on, I'll use AccessInfo.hk to handle my Code on Access to Information Request. All information you share will be publicly available.

Yours sincerely
Simon Wang

P.S. Procedurally speaking a case number should have been assigned to my request. Please do so as soon as possible.

=========================================================
Dear Dr Wang,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email to the Department of Justice dated 26.2.2021. The matter you raised is now under consideration. We will let you have a substantive reply as soon as practicable.

Regards,
Jason Leung
Executive Officer (Civil Division) 3
Department of Justice

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject:
Fwd: Fw: Request information about arbitration and dispute resolution services in HK
Date:
Fri, 26 Feb 2021 07:17:41 +0800
From:
Simon H WANG <[email address]>
To:
[email address]
CC:
Khaliq Martin <[email address]>

Dear Sir/Madam
I am writing to lodge a complaint against the officers Maggie Or and May Cheung who did not handle my Code on Access to Information request professionally. Please kindly follow up.
Yours Sincerely
Simon Wang

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Simon H WANG <[email address]>
Date: Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 6:15 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Request information about arbitration and dispute resolution services in HK
To: <[email address]>
Cc: <[email address]>, <[email address]>

Dear Sir/Madam
Evoking Clause 1.25 of the Code on Access to Information I’d to request a review of the reply and expect an answer within 7 calendar days. A complaint will be lodged to the Ombudsman if this case is not properly handled.
Please refer to the statement about our expectations issued earlier.

Yours sincerely
Simon Wang

On Thu, 25 Feb 2021 at 15:12, <[email address]> wrote:
Dear Dr Wang,

We refer to your email of 5 February 2021 to the Department of Justice. Thank you for your interest in researching into the development of arbitration and other dispute resolution services in Hong Kong.

2. Your attention is drawn to paragraph 1.14 of the Code on Access to Information.

3. Save for the information requested under your questions (1) and (2) (on which we have no statistics), most if not all of the information requested is in the public domain and is readily accessible.

4. You may however find the following links relevant, which are not meant to be exhaustive:-

 Department of Justice - https://www.doj.gov.hk/en/legal_dispute/...
 Hong Kong Legal Hub - https://www.legalhub.gov.hk/#
 Legislative Council - https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr19-20/english...
 Judiciary – https://www.judiciary.hk/en/home/index.h...

Regards,
Ms. Maggie Or
Executive Officer(Civil Division)1
Department of Justice

----- Forwarded by Maggie LY OR/DOJ/HKSARG on 25/02/2021 15:00 -----

From: Simon H WANG <[email address]>
To: [email address], [email address]
Cc: Khaliq Martin <[email address]>
Date: 2021/02/05 下午 11:48
Subject: Request information about arbitration and dispute resolution services in HK

Dear Sir/Madam

This is Dr Simon Wang, a lecturer from Hong Kong Baptist University; I am teaching a General Education course in which Khaliq Martin a virtual exchange student from Kent University is doing a project with me on HK’s status as an international dispute resolution centre in the context of Road and Belt Initiatives. I’d like to raise the following questions for the department to answer under the Code on Access to Information. I’m copying this email Khaliq, who may add more questions by replying to this email. Thanks in advance.

Given that a committee has been established to promote HK as a leader in arbitration services https://www.doj.gov.hk/en/legal_dispute/... , please answer the following questions:

1. The no. of arbitration cases that have been processed in HK each year from 2015-2019? Please break down the number of cases by various service providers.

2. The no. of dispute resolution cases that have been processed in HK each year from 2015-2019? Please break down the number of cases by various service providers.

3. How competitive is HK relative to its international counterparts, e.g, Singapore in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution?

4. What roles has DoJ played in promoting arbitration and dispute resolution services of HK in relation to Road and Belt Initiatives?

5. How does the DoJ promote arbitration and alternative dispute resolution services of Hong Kong in the global community?

6. How effective have such promotional efforts been? Please provide evaluation reports if available.

7. With which government departments and non-governmental organisations or professional bodies has DoJ collaborated or exchanged information for promoting arbitration and alternative dispute resolution services?

8. Since the Introduction of National Security Law, it is reported that some international companies have worried about HK’s rule of law and its abilities to settle disputes professionally (e.g. https://www.ft.com/content/1070440a-0993...). What measures has DoJ taken or will take to promote arbitration and dispute resolution services in HK amid concerns over National Security Law?

9. Please provide reports on the work of the Advisory Committee on Promotion of Arbitration since its establishment. Please also refer us to publicly available documents on the work of the committee.

I have made some requests of information to DoJ before. My impression is that the department staff was not very forthcoming in sharing information. Therefore I hope an experienced and competent officer will be assigned to this case. Please also note the following statement regarding our expectations of how the request should be handled:
While we appreciate the government’s efforts to maintain transparency and accountability under the Code on Access to Information, we also notice considerable variation among different departments and bureaux in their responses to our Code on Access to Information applications. We would appreciate it if your department/bureau could maintain professional standards when answering our inquiries. Specifically, we expect answers to each and every one of our questions separately rather than an answer without clearly indicating which questions were addressed. In case of referencing to websites or documents, we need the specific paragraphs in the source texts that are relevant to our questions to be highlighted. If no information is available regarding some of our questions, please indicate that is the case explicitly so we can follow up properly. We will definitely ask our case to be reviewed by a more senior official in your department/bureau if our request is not properly handled. If it is believed that other department/bureau may possess information we request, please feel free to forward the request including our personal information.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Simon Wang, Ph.D., FHEA
Lecturer in English
Language Centre
Hong Kong Baptist University
Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Phone: (852) 34117044
http://lc.hkbu.edu.hk/staff_simon.php
Writing for the Public Project

Department of Justice

Thank you very much for the message. The content has been noted. We shall
reply to you, where appropriate, as soon as possible. (The above is
generated by an auto-reply programme to acknowledge receipt of your
message.)

多謝閣下的電子郵件,內容備悉。如有需要,我們會盡快作出回覆。(以上為電腦自動
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1 cd, Department of Justice

Dear Dr Wang,
        I refer to your email of 25 February 2021 seeking a review by the
Department under the Code on Access to Information (“the Code”) regarding
your request for access to information dated 5 February 2021.  
 
2.        Having reviewed the case, I have come to the view that your
request has been handled properly.  

3.        Paragraph 1.14 of the Code stipulates that departments are not
obliged to create a record which does not exist, or to provide on request
information which is already published, either free or at a charge.  In
these circumstances, an applicant for information can, where possible, be
directed to the appropriate source of the information.

4.        Owing to the confidential nature of dispute resolution
processes, we do not have the statistics requested.  Most of the
information requested is otherwise in the public domain and is readily
accessible upon research for published information.  We cannot be required
or expected to expend substantial time and manpower resources to research,
extract and/or compile the requested information.  The Department’s reply
of 25 February 2021 has, on a non-exhaustive basis, directed you to some
sources of the information by providing you with the relevant links.
 There is no failure to comply with the provisions of the Code.

5.        According to the Code, any person who believes that a department
has failed to properly apply any provision of the Code may complain to The
Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman’s address and contact details are –

30/F, China Merchants Tower
Shun Tak Centre
168-200 Connaught Road Central
Hong Kong
Telephone : 2629 0555
Fax : 2882 8149

Yours sincerely,

(Ms Gracie Foo)
Director of Administration
Administration & Development Division
Department of Justice
 

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Simon H WANG,

Dear Sir/Madam
            I’m writing to file a complaint against Department of Justice
regarding my request of information on arbitration services of Hong Kong.
Please kindly follow up.
Yours sincerely
Simon Wang
On Wed, 17 Mar 2021 at 18:07, 1 cd <[1][email address]> wrote:

Dear Dr Wang,
        I refer to your email of 25 February 2021 seeking a review by
the Department under the Code on Access to Information (“the Code”)
regarding your request for access to information dated 5 February 2021.
 
 
2.        Having reviewed the case, I have come to the view that your
request has been handled properly.  

3.        Paragraph 1.14 of the Code stipulates that departments are not
obliged to create a record which does not exist, or to provide on
request information which is already published, either free or at a
charge.  In these circumstances, an applicant for information can, where
possible, be directed to the appropriate source of the information.

4.        Owing to the confidential nature of dispute resolution
processes, we do not have the statistics requested.  Most of the
information requested is otherwise in the public domain and is readily
accessible upon research for published information.  We cannot be
required or expected to expend substantial time and manpower resources
to research, extract and/or compile the requested information.  The
Department’s reply of 25 February 2021 has, on a non-exhaustive basis,
directed you to some sources of the information by providing you with
the relevant links.  There is no failure to comply with the provisions
of the Code.

5.        According to the Code, any person who believes that a
department has failed to properly apply any provision of the Code may
complain to The Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman’s address and contact details
are –

30/F, China Merchants Tower
Shun Tak Centre
[2]168-200 Connaught Road Central
[3]Hong Kong
Telephone : 2629 0555
Fax : 2882 8149

Yours sincerely,

(Ms Gracie Foo)
Director of Administration
Administration & Development Division
Department of Justice
 

show quoted sections