Hong Kong’s national security laws not major concern for international arbitration community, head of Bar Association says

A last desperate stand to protect a business that has all but fled to Singapore…

  • Bar Association chairman Victor Dawes says those who are concerned need only visit city and interact with local arbitration community
  • ‘They know that an independent arbitral tribunal really will not be affected by these legislations,’ he says

The SCMP and Dawes have another spin but I’d suggest it’s not really reality

The international arbitration community is not overly concerned about Hong Kong’s national security laws, as members have confidence in the independence and experience of the judiciary, the head of the city’s Bar Association has said.

Senior Counsel Victor Dawes, the association’s chairman, said on Saturday that those who were concerned need only visit the city and interact with the local arbitration community, citing his previous experience.

“I think people who are in the know, who are within the arbitration community, you see very few questions are asked about national security legislations in the arbitration circle because they are familiar with the process,” Dawes said.

“They know that an independent arbitral tribunal really will not be affected by these legislations.”

Hong Kong passed its domestic national security legislation in March, which complements another law imposed by Beijing in 2020.

Dawes’s comments were a response to some legal analysts who said the 2020 legislation added risks for foreign firms in all legal disputes, including arbitration, prompting them to use jurisdictions outside China such as Singapore.

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