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Hong Kong and Mainland China: New Chapter for Mutual Civil Judgment Recognition and Enforcement

Wed, 31 Jan 2024
Categories: China Legal Trends

Judgments made by courts in China’s Mainland can be enforced in Hong Kong after being registered by Hong Kong courts.

On 10 Nov. 2023, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced that the “Mainland Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance” (hereinafter the “Enforcement Ordinance”) would officially come into effect on 29 Jan. 2024. The “Mainland Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (Reciprocal Enforcement) Rules” (hereinafter the “Enforcement Rules”), established under Article 35 of the Enforcement Ordinance by the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, will also come into effect on the same day.

This marks the official implementation of 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” (hereinafter the “Arrangement”) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

On 18 Jan. 2019, China’s Supreme People’s Court and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region signed the Arrangement.

This Arrangement consolidates into a unified and comprehensive mechanism various rules about recognizing and enforcing civil and commercial judgments between the two regions, which were previously scattered among specific arrangements and Hong Kong common law. This includes various types of judgments relating to contracts, torts, and certain intellectual property disputes.

This Arrangement makes Hong Kong the first jurisdiction to have such a comprehensive arrangement for reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments with China’s Mainland.

The Enforcement Ordinance and Enforcement Rules make the Arrangement more practical.

In terms of enforcing Mainland civil and commercial judgments in Hong Kong, the Enforcement Ordinance adopts a “registration mechanism”. In particular, creditors under Mainland’s civil and commercial judgments may unilaterally apply to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s Court of First Instance (hereinafter the “Court of First Instance”) to register the judgment or any part of it. Once registered, Mainland’s civil and commercial judgments can be enforced as if they were originally made by the Court of First Instance.

 

 

Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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