Aims and Philosophy

Hong Kong is an ideal venue for the arbitration and mediation of disputes arising from international commercial and financial investment in Hong Kong, mainland China and the rest of the Asian region. The HKSAR Government has stated its goal of further enhancing Hong Kong as a leading regional and international centre for dispute resolution. In order to train professionals with the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise in dispute resolution methods, particularly negotiation, mediation and arbitration, the HKU Faculty of law introduced an innovative cross-disciplinary Master of Laws programme specializing in arbitration and dispute resolution in September 2007.

The LL.M. Degree in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution is particularly important given the commitment of the HKSAR Government to further develop arbitration and mediation in Hong Kong, as well as the reform of Hong Kong's civil justice system recently introduced by the HKSAR Chief Justice. Many of these reforms involve the use of negotiation, mediation and other forms of dispute resolution within the judicial system and the development of community based mediation and dispute resolution schemes to efficiently resolve disputes among citizens in Hong Kong. The new specialized LL.M. programme seeks to better serve the dispute resolution needs of Hong Kong's business, commercial and broader community, and to advance the HKU Faculty of Law as a regional and international centre of excellence in the teaching and research of negotiation, mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution generally.

The LL.M. Degree in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution is designed to:

  • provide students with specialized interdisciplinary teaching and research in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution generally with professional accreditation;
  • establish a collaborative network of dispute resolution expertise with local and overseas academics and dispute resolution professionals, with particular emphasis on the Asia Pacific region;
  • allow students to interact with leading dispute resolution professionals and scholars specializing in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution generally;
  • establish a related program of conferences, seminars, workshops and annual public lectures dealing with negotiation, mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution generally; and
  • develop a strong alumni network in Hong Kong specializing in arbitration and dispute resolution.

The LL.M. in Arbitration and Dispute Resolution programme is led by Associate Professor Katherine Lynch (Director) and Assistant Professor Dr. Shahla Ali (Deputy Director).