Authorities

 China (Hong Kong) - competent authority (Art. 17) and practical information
Address

Competent Authority:

Chief Secretary for Administration

Contact details:
Address: Chief Secretary for Administration
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government
Room 321, 3/F, East Wing
Central Government Offices
2 Tim Mei Avenue
Admiralty
Hong Kong, China
Telephone: +852 2810 3969
Fax: +852 2842 8897
E-mail: [email protected]
General website: http://www.cso.gov.hk/
Contact person: http://tel.directory.gov.hk/0116000002_ENG.html?accept_disclaimer=yes
Languages spoken by staff: English, Chinese

Practical Information
(The following information was provided by the relevant State authorities or was obtained from the replies to the Evidence Convention Questionnaires)
Blocking statutes: No blocking statute in force. 
Chapter I
(Letters of Requests)
Transmission of Letters of Requests: Letters of Request are first sent to the Chief Secretary for Administration before being sent to the Central Authority of the requested State.
Authority responsible for informing of the time and place of the execution of Letter of Request (Art. 7): Private agent of the parties or, in the absence of private agent, Law Officer (International Law).
Presence of judicial personnel at the execution of the Letter of Request (Art. 8): No declaration of applicability.
Privileges and duties existing under the law of States other than the State of origin and the State of execution (Art. 11): No declaration of applicability.
Translation requirements (Arts 4(2) and 33):  In accordance with Articles 4 and 33 of the Convention, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will not accept a Letter of Request in the French language.
Costs relating to execution of the Letters of Request (Arts 14(2)(3) and 26): Hong Kong does not seek reimbursement of costs under Arts 14 and 26.
Time for execution: No information available.
Art 23 pre-trial discovery of documents: Letter of Request may be executed subject to certain conditions (qualified exclusion).
Information about domestic rules on the taking of evidence:  The legislation below is available online at: http://www.legislation.gov.hk/eng/home.htm

- Part VIII of the Evidence Ordinance (Chapter 8 of the Laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)

- Orders 39 and 70, Rules of the High Court (Chapter 4A of the Laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region).

Witness examination under Chapter I
Should Letters of Request include specific questions to be used during witness examination or only a list of matters to be addressed? No such requirement is imposed for letters of request as such.  However, where private agents are not appointed in an incoming letter of request, it would be left to the Law Officer (International Law) to apply to the Court for execution and to arrange for the evidence to be taken.  Given that the Law Officer (International Law) is not party to the foreign legal proceedings, a list of specific questions is required in practice in order to facilitate the taking of evidence.  Furthermore, for outgoing requests, according to Order 39, rule 3 of the Rules of the High Court (Chapter 4A of the Laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) (http://www.legislation.gov.hk/eng/home.htm), if evidence is to be obtained by means of written questions, a copy of the interrogatories and cross-interrogatories must be lodged with the letter of request.

 

Is it a public or private hearing? Private hearing.
Do the judicial authorities "blue-pencil" Letters of Requests (i.e. rephrase, restructure and / or strike out objectionable questions or offensive wording so that a Letter of Request may be executed under the laws of the requested State)? Yes (see also O.70/1/24 and 25, Hong Kong Civil Procedure 2014)..
Is the witness provided in advance with a copy of the questions / matters to be addressed as contained in the Letter of Request? Yes.
Are documents produced by the witness authenticated by the court? No.
Is an oath generally administered to the witness? Yes.
Can the witness be made subject to further examination and recall? Yes but a second request is necessary.
Are there sanctions for non-appearance of witness? A witness who fails to comply with the order for examination
will be liable to committal for contempt of court. See para. 70/4/8 Hong Kong Civil Procedure 2014 and Order 45 of the Rules of the High Court, Chapter 4A, Laws of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Must interpreters who assist with the witness examination be court-certified? Yes (if the examination is conducted by court).
How is the testimony transcribed? In the form of a deposition or verbatim transcript.
Chapter II
(Taking of evidence by diplomatic officers, consular agents and commissioners)
Article 15 Applicable.
Article 16 Not applicable. 
Article 17 Applicable.
Article 18 No declaration of applicability (i.e., a diplomatic officer, consular agent or commissioner may not apply for appropriate assistance to obtain evidence by compulsion).
Taking of evidence by video-links
(under either chapter)
 
Chapter I
Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links? No.
Technology used: No information available.
Level of interpretation required: No information available.
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation: No information available.
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction? No information available.
Who pays for the interpretation? No information available.
How would a request for evidence be handled if witness not willing? No information available.
Chapter II
Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links? No information available. 
Technology used: No information available.
Level of interpretation required: No information available.
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation: No information available.
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction? No information available.
Who pays for the interpretation? No information available.
Bilateral or multilateral agreements Not applicable.
Useful links:  

(This page was last updated on 29 July 2014)

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