Traditional in-person arbitrations and mediations may soon be a thing of the past as we approach 2020, with Hong Kong’s Bar Association and Law Society jointly cooperating to set up a non-profit company, better known as the eBRAM Centre, (eBRAM stands for Electronic Business Related Arbitration and Mediation) with a vision to provide an efficient and cost-effective online platform for alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”).

eBRAM Objectives

  • To cost-effectively facilitate business negotiations and prevent disputes involving enterprises worldwide, including China’s Belt and Road region as well as the Greater Bay Area and Mainland-focused enterprises.
  • To meet the demand driven by the expansion of e-commerce for legal and dispute resolution services across borders to be resolved online utilising innovative technology and artificial intelligence.

Key features of the proposed eBRAM platform

  • The eBRAM platform will be designed to provide panels of neutrals (i.e. both arbitrators and mediators who are and are not on the eBRAM platform with different areas of expertise and different levels of experience) to facilitate parties’ nomination and selection for appointment.
  • The eBRAM platform will support case-based and role-based access control to case materials, such that documents will only be accessible to the relevant parties.
  • The eBRAM platform will support multiple, secure, convenient and modern payment methods, such as credit cards, TT transfer, PayPal, e-Cheque and Fast Payment System.
  • The eBRAM platform will also provide special artificial intelligence functions to facilitate business negotiations and dispute resolution with text translation, real-time translation of chat-style sentences, transcription of online hearing recordings and user authentication for access security (such as facial recognition, silhouette tracking and radio frequency identification).
  • The eBRAM platform will adopt blockchain technology, giving it utmost security in non-repudiated transaction records and thus enable authenticated parties to upload, download and exchange case materials without security concerns.
  • The eBRAM platform will operate and be maintained through a cloud-based and secured IT infrastructure which will allow users to customise applications for specific requirements. Further, access to eBRAM would be easy from anywhere around the world, with an internet connection.

The introduction of eBRAM will change how cross-border transactions are done and how disputes are resolved in Asia, showcasing Hong Kong’s unique status and capability to change under the growing expansion of e-commerce. Changing the way we do ADR: eBRAM.