In an effort to provide a legal framework for conducting mediation in Hong Kong, the Mediation Task Force has recently announced that it aims to introduce the Mediation Bill into the Legislative Council towards the end of 2011. The Bill will primarily define the meaning of mediation and will cover important issues such as confidentiality and privilege in mediation.
The Mediation Task Force was set up by the Department of Justice in late 2010 to advise on and implement the recommendations put forward in a report by the Working Group on Mediation after a three-month public consultation which began in February 2010. The recommendations cover three main areas, namely: (1) the promulgation of a Mediation Ordinance to strengthen certain essential features of the mediation procedure; (2) public education and publicity of mediation within the business and commercial areas; and (3) the establishment of a single accreditation body to train and accredit mediators.
In relation to the other two areas in focus i.e., public education and accreditation, the Mediation Task Force: (1) is deliberating on the terms and conditions of a non-statutory industry-led single accreditation body; and (2) plans to hold the second Mediation in Hong Kong Conference in early 2012 (following the first conference held in 2007) and an 'Announcement in Public Interest' to further promote mediation.