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Lands Tribunal Pilot Scheme for Building Management Cases to be made permanent from July 1

The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:

     The Lands Tribunal will adopt the measures taken under a 18-month pilot scheme, aimed to facilitate a more efficient, expeditious and fair disposal of building management cases, as standard practices effective from tomorrow (July 1), a spokesman for the Judiciary said today (June 30).

     The President of the Lands Tribunal has issued a Practice Direction to implement the measures as standard practices namely -

     (a) encouraging the use of mediation as an Alternative Dispute Resolution; and

     (b) being more proactive in case management through the adoption of automatic and paper directions and checklists.

     "The Lands Tribunal will encourage disputing parties where appropriate, to attempt mediation before proceeding with the case further, and give them the necessary directions," the spokesman said.

     As regards case management measures such as automatic directions and checklists, they will only apply to cases with legal representation on both sides.

     In view of its positive outcome and after evaluation and consultation, the measures under the pilot scheme, implemented by the Judiciary from January 1, 2008, will be adopted as standard practices from tomorrow (July 1).

     Members of the public who encounter building management disputes, such as water leakage, contribution of management fees and maintenance charges, or appointment of management committee, are encouraged to use mediation to resolve their differences in a more efficient, cost-effective and amicable manner rather than to adopt a confrontational approach in litigation.

     Disputing parties may avoid the tension and conflict in the adversarial litigation system, and save some time and money in not having to contest the matters in Court.

     The settlement terms, which can be kept private and confidential, may go beyond the legal remedies such as damages and injunctions to which the courts are limited.

     The Building Management Mediation Co-ordinator's Office of the Judiciary provides information and enquiry services for parties who are willing to seek mediation before or after they commence proceedings in the Tribunal.  The Office is located in the Lands Tribunal Building, Gascoigne Road, Kowloon.

     The actual mediation service is provided by private mediators or the relevant organisations outside the Judiciary.

     Copies of a booklet "Case Management and Mediation for Building Management Cases in the Lands Tribunal" can be obtained from the Office, the Resource Centre for Unrepresented Litigants in the High Court Building, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong and District Offices of the Home Affairs Department of the Administration.

     The booklet was also uploaded onto the Judiciary website

Ends/Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Issued at HKT 14:30


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