Mainland, Hong Kong begin mutual recognition of civil, commercial court rulings

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Mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) have agreed to implement mutual recognition and enforcement of each other’s judgments in civil and commercial court cases. This agreement is expected to play a pivotal role in facilitating legal matters within the GBA.

The “Arrangement on Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters by the Courts of the Mainland and of the HKSAR” became effective this week, marking a crucial milestone in GBA’s development.

The arrangement, initially formed in 2019 by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) and Hong Kong’s Department of Justice, streamlines legal processes and reduces economic costs for all parties involved.

While judgments from mainland courts will not automatically apply in Hong Kong, and vice versa, this arrangement will simplify cross-border legal disputes. It relieves creditors from initiating litigation in two different jurisdictions and will be instrumental in resolving civil and commercial issues involving GBA elements.

Speaking to mainland media, Vice-President of the SPC, Yang Wanming, stated that this new arrangement, which includes intellectual property cases – usually excluded from international covenants – will lead to mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments in over 90% of civil and commercial cases between mainland China and Hong Kong. This represents the highest level of mutual recognition and enforcement within a single country.

Si Yanli, deputy head of the Research Office of the SPC, told China Daily the hope that Hong Kong would continue to deepen its integration with mainland China’s judicial and legal rules, fostering closer judicial connections within GBA.

Additionally, substantial progress is expected soon, allowing Hong Kong-invested enterprises registered in the entire Greater Bay Area to adopt Hong Kong law and choose Hong Kong’s arbitration services, a development actively researched and implemented by the SPC, further strengthening GBA’s legal infrastructure. MDT/China Daily

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