SEOUL, August 3 (Korea Bizwire) – Korean laws and regulations have been modified to introduce the possibility of arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism. Unlike advanced countries where arbitration is practiced in general, arbitration in Korea was previously limited to private disputes.
The Department of Justice is planning to announce legislation that will modify the arbitration law on August 4. After the revised bill passes the assembly plenary session in September, it will be activated next year, after passing the cabinet meeting.
The advantage of arbitration is that it can resolve conflicts that occur in real estate issues, insurance, house decoration, sureties and any other thing that could happen in everyday life, in a small amount of time, at a reasonable cost.
The new bill expands the range of disputes that arbitration can cover. In addition to private legal disputes, ‘conflicts on property rights’ and ‘conflicts on non-property rights that can be solved by the reconciliation of the parties’ could subject to arbitration.
As a result, arbitration will also be open to public law disputes such as unfair trade that violates the Antimonopoly act, and conflicts over intellectual property rights. In addition, requisites of settlements are relaxed. Arbitration agreements can be recognized without the need for official paperwork when the intentions of both parties are communicated via email.
The new bill also guarantees quick execution of the arbitration process through court decisions, and also strengthens the cooperation of the arbitral tribunal.
The new bill adopted the contents of the ‘Revised UNCITRAL model law‘ of 2006.
In Korea, around 70 legal disputes go to arbitration every year, but the Department of Justice expects the numbers to go up to about 200 cases per year, which would be similar to Singapore (230 cases a year).
According to the Seoul International Arbitration Center, an economic effect of 2.5 billion won including fees, accommodation and transportation is expected when an international arbitration case is attracted.
Officials from the Department of Justice are determined to make Korea an international arbitration hub. “Korea can be an arbitration hub between Asian countries and British and American countries. We will also pay more attention on attracting international arbitration cases.”
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)