Reciprocal legal recognition consulted

The Department of Justice today launched a public consultation on a legislative proposal to implement an agreement with the Mainland on the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.   Titled Arrangement on Reciprocal Recognition & Enforcement of Judgments in Civil & Commercial Matters by the Courts of the Mainland & of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (REJ Arrangement), this pact was signed between the Supreme People’s Court and the Hong Kong SAR Government on January 18, 2019.   Under the proposed mechanism to effect the REJ Arrangement, a person may apply to Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance (CFI) to have a Mainland judgment in a civil or commercial matter registered with the CFI. A registered judgment may also be enforced in the same way as if it were a judgment originally given by the CFI.   At the same time, this legislative scheme facilitates the recognition and enforcement on the Mainland of Hong Kong judgments in civil or commercial matters by empowering the Hong Kong court to issue certified copies of and certificates for such Hong Kong judgments.   The proposed mechanism is embodied in the Mainland Judgments in Civil & Commercial Matters (Reciprocal Enforcement) Bill and the Mainland Judgments in Civil & Commercial Matters (Reciprocal Enforcement) Rules, the department added.   Highlighting that the REF Arrangement expressly covers judgments given in respect of disputes over intellectual property rights, the department hailed this major breakthrough which makes Hong Kong SAR the first jurisdiction to have a legal pact with the Mainland on reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments, testifying to the unique advantages of “one country, two systems”.   The public can submit comments on the proposed bill and rules set out in the consultation paper on or before January 31, 2022.

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