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

Central Authority(ies):

The Procuratorate of the Macao Special Administrative Region
(The Other Authority as laid down in Article 24 of the Convention)

Contact details:

Address: Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues, no. 683, Edifício do Ministério Público, Macao
Telephone: 853-28727272
Fax: 853-28753231
E-mail: info@mp.gov.mo
General website: https://www.mp.gov.mo/en/standard/index.html
Contact person: Mr. Ng Meng Tai
Mr. Vu Ka Vai
Languages spoken by staff: Chinese and Portuguese

 

Practical Information

Blocking statutes:

Although there are no concrete blocking statutes in the legal system of the Macao Special Administrative Region (hereinafter referred to as the Macao SAR), national interests of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the PRC) must be taken into account in the scope of requests for judicial cooperation, which is regarded as a fundamental principle.

Indeed, according to Law 3/2002 on the Notification Procedure of Requests within Mutual Legal Assistance, the Macao SAR shall inform the Central Government of the PRC when transmitting a mutual legal assistance request to authorities of States other than the PRC or when receiving such a request from these authorities, which implies that the sovereignty of State must be taken into consideration and is one of the decisive factors in refusing the execution of a request.

Chapter I
(Letters of Requests)

Transmission of Letters of Requests: The Procuratorate of the Macao SAR was designated as the Other Authority in the Macao SAR, which will undertake to receive Letters of Request coming from a judicial authority of another Contracting State and to transmit them to the authority competent to execute them (Please refer to the declaration made by the Government of the PRC under Article 24 in relation to the Macao SAR).
Authority responsible for informing of the time and place of the execution of Letter of Request
(Art. 7):
Judicial authority competent to execute the Letter of request.
Presence of judicial personnel at the execution of the Letter of Request (Art. 8):

This is not always necessary.

Requests for information, supply of documents or fulfilment of acts that do not demand, by their nature, the intervention of judicial personnel, are made directly to the public or private entities whose cooperation is requested, by formal letter or other means of communication (Article 126 (3) of the Macao Civil Procedure Code (hereinafter referred to as the CPC)).

Privileges and duties existing under the law of States other than the State of origin and the State of execution
(Art. 11):
Persons that enjoy international protection enjoy the privileges and duties under international treaties applicable to the Macao SAR. (Article 525 (1) (i) of the CPC).
Translation requirements
Arts 4(2) and 33):
The Macao SAR will only accept Letters of Request in either Chinese or Portuguese, or those accompanied by a translation in either Chinese or Portuguese (Please refer to the declaration made by the Government of the PRC under Article 4(3) in relation to the Macao SAR).
Costs relating to execution of the Letters of Request
(Arts 14(2)(3) and 26):
The costs relating to execution of the Letters of Request are possibly charged on a case-by-case basis under the Macao SAR law.
Time for execution: Generally executed in 3-4 months.
Pre-trial discovery of documents
Art. 23):
The Macao SAR will not execute Letters of Request issued for the purpose of obtaining pre-trial discovery of documents known in Common Law countries (Please refer to the declaration made by the Government of the PRC under Article 23 in relation to the Macao SAR).
Information about domestic rules on the taking of evidence: 

The CPC mentioned above can be consulted online (both in Chinese and Portuguese) at:
http://bo.io.gov.mo/bo/i/99/40/codprocivcn/indice_art.asp and
http://bo.io.gov.mo/bo/i/99/40/codprocivpt/indice_art.asp.

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?

Letters of Request are not required to include specific questions to be used during witness examination. As regards the testimony, the witness is questioned about the facts that have been articulated or contested by the party. In order to clarify or complete the testimony, the lawyer of the counter party may question the witness as to the facts that he/she testified (Article 539 of the CPC).

It should be mentioned that the Letter of Request, regarding the testimony of a witnesses residing outside the Macao SAR, shall indicate the facts about which the testimony is required (Article 524 (1) of the CPC).

Is it a public or private hearing? In general, the hearing is open to the public, unless the court by a reasoned order decides otherwise, to safeguard the dignity of persons and the good customs or to ensure the normal course of the hearing (Article 559 (1) of the CPC).
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)? Under the Macao SAR law, no provisions regarding this issue are provided. However, in practice, it is deemed that the court would appropriately “blue-pencil” requests if necessary, so that they can be executed and the course of the related proceedings can be facilitated.
Is the witness provided in advance with a copy of the questions / matters to be addressed as contained in the Letter of Request? No. Actually, the witnesses are not even permitted to prepare any written testimony (Article 539 (5) of the CPC, read together with its Article 485 (3)).
Are documents produced by the witness authenticated by the court?

No. The authentication of the documents produced in the court can be contested under Articles 469 and 471 of the CPC although such documents are not subject to authentication.

Moreover, if the document is intended to be produced as evidence in a court, and the judge has serious doubts concerning its authenticity or the authenticity of its recognition, legalization may be required, or if not required, the judge may freely appraise the legal value of the document, unless otherwise provided for (Article 358 of the Macao Civil Code).

Is an oath generally administered to the witness? Yes. Article 536 (1) of the CPC, read together with its Article 484.
Can the witness be made subject to further examination and recall? Yes. Witnesses can be made subject to supplementary interrogation conducted by the lawyer of the counter party (Article 539 (2) of the CPC).
Are there sanctions for non-appearance of witness? The court can order the witness who has been absent from the court without any appropriate reasons to appear [under custody] in the court, without prejudice of the fine applicable to the witness for his/her non-appearance (Article 530 (4) of the CPC).
Must interpreters who assist with the witness examination be court-certified? No. If the participants in the proceedings cannot communicate in any of the two official languages, Chinese or Portuguese, or if a deaf, a mute or a deaf-mute, who cannot read or write, has to give declaration in the proceedings, suitable interpreter should be designated, who must take an oath to perform his/her functions faithfully (Articles 89 and 91 of the CPC).
How is the testimony transcribed?

The depositions of parties or other interested persons, testimonies of witnesses, as well as information and explanations presented in the hearing are mandatory to be registered or written in several given situations (Articles 246, 331(4), 447 and 448 of the CPC).

The aforesaid register should be made with the use of audio-visual system (Article 449 of the CPC).

In some cases, the judge may allow for written testimony for persons specified under Article 525 of the CPC, or for witnesses for whom it is impossible or difficult to appear in court, after seeking opinions of the parties according to Article 540 of the CPC.

Chapter II
(Taking of evidence by diplomatic officers, consular agents and commissioners)

Article 15 Applicable.
Article 16 Not applicable (Please refer to the declaration made by the Government of the PRC under Article 33 in relation to the Macao SAR).
Article 17 Not applicable (Please refer to the declaration made by the Government of the PRC under Article 33 in relation to the Macao SAR).
Article 18 Not applicable (Please refer to the declaration made by the Government of the PRC under Article 33 in relation to the Macao SAR).

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 No.
Useful links:

www.court.gov.mo/ (The official website of the Courts of the Macao SAR) (in Chinese and Portuguese only)

https://www.mp.gov.mo/en/standard/index.html (The official website of the Procuratorate of the Macao SAR) 

https://www.al.gov.mo/en/ (The official website of the Legislative Assembly of the Macao SAR)


https://www.io.gov.mo/ (The official website of the Printing Bureau of the Macao SAR Government) (in Chinese and Portuguese only)

Competent authorities (Art. 17) No information.
Additional authorities (Art. 24) The Procuratorate of the Macao SAR

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