Mainland limitation periods are much shorter than Hong Kong limitation periods. So how do the Hong Kong courts deal with a situation where the claim is statute barred under Mainland law, which is the proper law of the contract, but not barred under Hong Kong’s limitation period rules? Which limitation period will be applied? Conversely, how do Mainland courts react in the mirror image situation of a claim being statute barred under Mainland law but not under Hong Kong Law where Hong Kong law is deemed the applicable law for the dispute?
The seminar will first focus on the Mainland rules on conflicting limitation periods highlighting the findings of Dr Tsang who has recently carried out some empirical research into Mainland judicial practice in relation to the problem. The speakers will then deal with the position in Hong Kong and explain the extremely complex and uncertain common law rules that still apply in this jurisdiction in order to determine which limitation period will apply. In particular, the seminar will focus on how Hong Kong’s private international law rules would classify Mainland law on limitation periods –substance or procedure? In addition, the seminar will consider the Hong Kong courts’ attitude to the argument that even though Hong Kong is not the natural forum for the dispute they should accept jurisdiction on forum conveniens grounds because the plaintiff’s claim is statute barred in the Mainland. Is this a good enough reason for a Hong Kong court to decide that Hong Kong is the appropriate forum for the dispute?
The seminar will then conclude with suggestions as to how Hong Kong can improve its current private international law rules on conflicting limitation periods by enacting legislation on the matter in line with jurisdictions such as the UK and Singapore.
Prof. Alan Gibb, Associate Professor of Practice in Law & Professional Consultant, CUHK LAW
Prof. Dicky Tsang, Associate Professor, CUHK LAW
The Law Society of Hong Kong has awarded this seminar 1.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.