On 7 January 2013, the Governments of Hong Kong and Macau signed “The Arrangement Concerning Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards Between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macau Special Administrative Region” (“the Arrangement”) to provide mutual recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in both places.
Under the Arrangement, the Hong Kong courts shall recognise and enforce arbitral awards made in Macau pursuant to Macau’s arbitration laws and the Macau courts shall recognise and enforce arbitral awards made in Hong Kong pursuant to Hong Kong’s Arbitration Ordinance.
Where a party fails to comply with an arbitral award, whether made in Hong Kong or Macau, the other party may apply to the relevant court in the place where the party against whom the application is filed is domiciled, or the place in which the property of the said party is situated, for recognition and enforcement of the award.
In Hong Kong, the Court of First Instance has jurisdiction to entertain an application for recognition and enforcement of awards. In Macau, the Court of First Instance has jurisdiction to entertain applications for recognition, while the Court of Second Instance has jurisdiction to enforce the arbitral awards.
The Arrangement was made in accordance with the provisions in the Basic Law of Hong Kong and Macau. The content of the Arrangement is made in accordance with the spirit of the New York Convention and is broadly similar to the existing arrangements on the same issue between Hong Kong and Mainland China and between Macau and Mainland China.
The Arrangement will no doubt lead to greater legal co-operation between Hong Kong and Macau and further enhance Hong Kong’s reputation as an international arbitration venue.
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