To reduce if not eliminate those steps in proceedings which serve little

To reduce if not eliminate those steps in proceedings

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To reduce, if not eliminate, those steps in proceedings .. which serve little purpose..” 21 22
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12 Moderate success of Civil Justice Reform: A general increase in civil caseload since 2010: from 16,483 in 2010 to 19,389 in 2016. The average court waiting time dropped from 215 days in 2010 to 155 days in 2016. Litigation Costs The ‘indemnity principle ’: the loser pays a large proportion of the costs of the winner, viz. lawyer’s fees, etc. The indemnity principle seeks to prevent a worthy plaintiff being deterred from pursuing his legal remedies by the cost of litigation, knowing that his litigation expenses will be recouped if he wins. 23 24
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13 Language Issues The Official Languages Ordinance (Cap.5) recognises both English and Chinese as Hong Kong’s official languages: A judge is allowed to select either language or both in any proceedings before him. In making a language choice, the judge must give consideration to the ‘just and expeditious disposal of the proceedings’. Parties, their legal representatives and witnesses may use either English or Chinese, or both, in the proceedings. If the judge has already selected one of the official languages for the trial, any document admitted as evidence, not already in that language, must be accompanied by a certified translation. Hong Kong was the first and is so far the only common law jurisdiction where common law judgments can be written in the Chinese language . Madam Justice Kwan, Justice of Appeal (2011): Few judgments written in Chinese are of precedential value , and those of any jurisprudential importance have been translated into English, the language still predominantly used in cases involving difficult questions of law. Generally, judgments in Chinese mainly concern questions of fact , and thorough discussions of the law are rarely found in them. 25 26
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14 The huge body of precedents the common law world is available only in English. Given the presence of overseas NPJs , CFA proceedings remain completely in English. A lot of common law technical terms are hard to express concisely in non-English languages. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) 27 28
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15 Arbitration Arbitration “Arbitration is a consensual dispute resolution process based on the parties' agreement to submit their disputes for resolution to an arbitral tribunal usually composed, of one or three independent arbitrators appointed by or on behalf of the parties.” ~Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre Arbitration was intended to be a relatively inexpensive mode of ADR that creates streamlined, confidential, fair, and final solutions to disputes. 29 30
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16 Parties can consent to arbitration by inserting arbitration clauses in their contracts or by a separate agreement. Principles of adversarialism often followed in conducting hearings.
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