The foundational instrument for the enforcement of international arbitral awards, the New York Convention (the “Convention”), has made arbitral awards readily enforceable across the world but, in application, the Convention remains reliant upon the divide between domestic and international arbitration awards.
Cross-border enforcement of arbitral awards within the constitutional principle of “one country, two systems” and between the People’s Republic of China (the “Mainland”) and Hong Kong in 1997 threw this limitation into sharp relief. Indeed, reunification brought about a wholly unsatisfactory state of affairs where Hong Kong awards were, for a period of time, unenforceable in the Mainland, and vice-versa. The solution to this problem, brokered between the authorities of Hong Kong and the Mainland, was a bespoke agreement, the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Between the Mainland and Hong Kong (the “Arrangement”).
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