Mainland, Macao step up judicial cooperation

The Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China sign amendments to an arrangement that provides mutual opportunity to share judicial documents and evidence in civil and commercial cases.

The Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China have signed amendments to an arrangement that provides mutual opportunity to share judicial documents and evidence in civil and commercial cases.

The updated agreement was signed by the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Mr Cheong Weng Chon, and by Vice-president of the Supreme People's Court, Mr Yang Wanming, during a ceremony on Tuesday (14 January) at the Government Headquarters.

The original agreement had been signed on 15 August, 2001. The latest version will become effective from 1 March, 2020.

Major amendments included: the option for electronic transmission of documents on judicial cooperation, via establishment of a network platform for judicial cooperation between the mainland and the Macao SAR; the granting of authorisation to Intermediate People's Courts and basic-level courts on the mainland – particularly those basic courts within the mainland cities composing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area) – to apply directly to Macao’s Court of Final Appeal for the service of judicial documents; and the option for inclusion of either video or audio recordings as testimony.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Secretary Cheong said the amended agreement was a significant step to realising aspirations laid out by President Xi Jinping – during his December visit to Macao – regarding enhancing the effectiveness of legal cooperation in civil and commercial matters within the Greater Bay Area.

Mr Yang said the amended agreement was an important measure to deepen judicial cooperation by the use of information technology, and would minimise costs stemming from judicial cooperation, thereby safeguarding and guaranteeing the legitimate rights and interests of the parties involved.

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