China (Hong Kong) - other authority (Art. 24) and practical information

Central Authority(ies):

Registrar of the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China

Contact details:

Address: Registrar of the High Court
38 Queensway
Hong Kong
China
Telephone: +852 2825 0380
Fax: +852 2825 4550
E-mail: enquiry@judiciary.hk
General website: https://www.judiciary.hk
Contact person: Ms T. Au
Languages spoken by staff: English, Chinese

 

Practical Information

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 accept a Letter of Request in English but not 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 Articles 14 and 26.
Time for execution: No information available.
Pre-trial discovery of documents
(Art. 23):
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:
https://www.elegislation.gov.hk

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

- Order 70 and the specified rules under Order 39, Rules of the High Court (“RHC”) (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 (Order 70 rule 3 of the RHC).  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 RHC (Chapter 4A of the Laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk), 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 2021).
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 indorsed with penal memorandum will be liable to committal for contempt of court. See para. 70/4/8 Hong Kong Civil Procedure 2021 and Order 45 rule 5(1)(b)(iii) and rule 7(4) of the RHC.
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?  
Technology used:  
Level of interpretation required:  
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation:  
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction?  
Who pays for the interpretation?  
How would a request for evidence be handled if witness not willing?  

Chapter II

Are there legal obstacles to the use of video links?  
Technology used:  
Level of interpretation required:  
Simultaneous or in sequence interpretation:  
Interpretation required in which jurisdiction?  
Who pays for the interpretation?  

Other Information

Bilateral or multilateral agreements  
Useful links:  
Competent authorities (Art. 17) See here.
Additional authorities (Art. 24)  

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