A Star Ferry (center) and yachts cross Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on Nov 20, 2022. (BERTHA WANG / AFP)

HONG KONG – Model rules for cross-boundary dispute mediation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area came into effect immediately after their release on Friday.

Earlier on Dec 16, the rules were endorsed by the fourth Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Legal Departments Joint Conference.

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The promulgation of various mediation standards will further promote the wider use of mediation within the GBA.

HKSAR Govt 

The Greater Bay Area comprises three different legal systems of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, and the mediation models, systems, and development are also different in the three places.

In synergy with the GBA Mediator Accreditation Standards and the GBA Mediator Code of Conduct Best Practice which were endorsed and came into effect in 2021, Greater Bay Area Cross-Boundary Disputes Mediation Model Rules will have a demonstrative effect for reference and voluntary adoption of the mediation institutions and mediators within the GBA.

The promulgation of various mediation standards will further promote the wider use of mediation within the 11-city Bay Area cluster, the government said in a statement, terming it as a major milestone in advancing the building of the rule of law in the GBA and Hong Kong's integration into the Bay Area development. 

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β€œIt will also encourage the use of mediation by the business sector and the public in the three places to resolve cross-boundary disputes, creating complementary and win-win solutions,” reads the statement.