Macau’s new arbitration law

13 February 2020, Construction, Newsletter, by Joseph Chung,

On 4 May 2020, Macau’s new arbitration law will come into effect. It will bring in one Ordinance for both domestic and international arbitration and standards and practices which accord with the UNCITRAL Model Law.  In other words and similar to Hong Kong, the new law will no longer distinguish between domestic and international arbitrations.

Other key changes include the following:

  • A broader definition of “arbitration agreement in writing” to include:

a.

any document signed by the parties; 

b. 

exchange of letter, fax, email or other means of telecommunication evidenced in writing;

c. 

electronic, magnetic, optical or other means offering the same guarantees of reliability, intelligibility and preservation as physical documents;

d. 

exchange of statement of claim and statement of defence, in which the existence of such agreement is alleged by one party and not denied by the other.

  • Appointment of emergency arbitrators to deal with urgent interim relief applications before the Tribunal has been constituted.

  • A procedure for requesting the court’s assistance in the taking of evidence.

  • The possibility to challenge the arbitral award before another arbitral tribunal.