2023/11/24 New Development for Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments between Hong Kong and Mainland China
The Hong Kong Legislative Council on 26th October 2022 has passed The Mainland Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance ( Cap. 645 of the Laws of Hong Kong , “the Ordinance”). The Ordinance is intended to provide for the enforcement in Hong Kong of judgments in civil and commercial matters handed down in Mainland China, and for facilitating the recognition and enforcement in the Mainland of judgments in civil and commercial matters given in Hong Kong.
The promulgation of the Ordinance is also a substantive and important step to give effect to the Arrangement on Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region signed between the HKSAR Government and the Supreme People’s Court on 18th January 2019 (“the 2019 Arrangement”). The Supreme People’s Court and the Government of the HKSAR have agreed for the 2019 Arrangement to come into operation on 29th January 2024. The Hong Kong Government has also published in the Gazette that the Ordinance and the relevant rules shall come into operation on the same date.
The 2019 Arrangement covers matters considered to be of a “civil and commercial” nature under both Hong Kong and Mainland law. It also applies to the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of legally effective judgments in relation to civil damages awarded in criminal cases, as well as disputes between family members on division of property and disputes on property arising from engagement agreements. The 2019 Arrangements also include certain judgments involving intellectual property and provides for a definition for “intellectual property rights”. Such breakthrough would certainly further promote Hong Kong as a regional intellectual property trading centre.
We believe that the taking effect of the 2019 Arrangement would establish a more comprehensive reciprocal enforcement of judgment mechanism in civil and commercial matters between Hong Kong and the Mainland China, thereby reducing the need for re-litigation of the same disputes in both jurisdictions and offering better protection to the parties’ interests. This is going to sharpen Hong Kong’s edge as the regional legal and dispute resolution service centre.
This Article has been updated from the article in our firm’s 13th issue of Newsletter. Please note that the information contained herein should be regarded for general reference only. If the readers do have enquiry on the related legal matters, please seek formal legal advice.