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New Copyright Tribunal Rules to take effect on May 1
     The new Copyright Tribunal Rules (Cap. 528D) will take effect on May 1, 2017, enabling the Copyright Tribunal (the Tribunal) to operate in a more effective manner.   
     The new Rules were made by the Chief Justice, in exercise of the power conferred upon him under section 174(1) of the Copyright Ordinance (Cap. 528), to modernise the practice and procedures of the Tribunal, an independent, quasi-judicial body established under the Copyright Ordinance to hear and resolve specific types of disputes relating to the use or licensing of copyright works. 
     The new Rules apply the principles of the Civil Justice Reform as the fundamental value of dispute resolution before the Tribunal, with dedicated provisions empowering the Tribunal to exercise active case management and promote the use of alternative dispute resolution. Moreover, the new Rules standardise the procedures and forms for all types of applications or references before the Tribunal and prescribe the relevant provisions in a self-contained manner by delinking all links and cross-references to other legislation.         
     A Government spokesman said, "The new Rules will maintain the fairness of the proceedings before the Tribunal on the one hand, and make proceedings as flexible, convenient and cost-effective as possible in accordance with contemporary dispute resolution practices on the other hand."
     The new Rules were published in the Gazette on February 24 and, having gone through the negative vetting procedures of the Legislative Council, will take effect on May 1. The existing Rules (Cap. 528C) will be repealed on the same day. Any proceedings commenced before May 1 and pending immediately before May 1 must continue in accordance with the new Rules. 
     For details of the new Rules, please visit the websites of Intellectual Property Department (www.ipd.gov.hk) and the Copyright Tribunal (www.ct.gov.hk).
Ends/Friday, April 28, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:00
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