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

Central Authority(ies):

Procuratorate of the Macao Special Administrative Region

Contact details:
Address: Procuratorate of the Macao Special Administrative Region 7th Floor
Dynasty Plaza Building
Alameda Dr. Carlos D'Assumpcao
NAPE
Macao
Telephone: +853 287 8666
Fax: +853 287 27 621
E-mail: info@mp.gov.mo
General website: www.mp.gov.mo
Contact person: Lao Ian Chi
Languages spoken by staff: Chinese, Portuguese, English

Practical Information
(The following information was provided by the relevant State authorities or was obtained from the replies to the 2013 Evidence Convention Questionnaires)
Blocking statutes: Although there are no concrete blocking statutes in the legal system of the Macao SAR, State interests of the People's Republic of China 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, of 4 March, on procedures in relation to the notification of request in the scope of judicial cooperation, the Macao SAR has to inform the Central Government of the People's Republic of China when transmitting a request for judicial cooperation to authorities of States other than the People's Republic of China 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: Letters of Request are sent directly from a judicial authority in the requesting State 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): Judicial authority competent to execute the request.
Presence of judicial personnel at the execution of the Letter of Request (Art. 8): No declaration.
Privileges and duties existing under the law of States other than the State of origin and the State of execution (Art. 11): No declaration.
Translation requirements (Arts 4(2) and 33):  Macao Special Administrative Region will only accept Letters of Request in either Chinese or Portuguese, or those accompanied by a translation in either Chinese or Portuguese. See declarations.
Costs relating to execution of the Letters of Request (Arts 14(2)(3) and 26): No information available.
Time for execution: Executed in 3-4 months.
Art 23 pre-trial discovery of documents: Full exclusion. See declarations.
Information about domestic rules on the taking of evidence:  The Macao Civil Procedure Code (CPC) mentioned below can
be consulted online (both in Chinese and Portuguese) at:
http://bo.io.gov.mo/bo/i/99/40/codprocivcn/indice_art.asp; 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 do not include specific questions to be used during witness examination. As regards the testimony and according to Article 539 of the CPC, the witness is questioned about the facts that have been articulated or contested by the party that offered her. In order to clarify or complete the testimony, the lawyer of the counter party may question the witness as to the facts that she testified.
It should be mentioned that the Letter of Request, regarding a 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? Under Article 559 (1) of the CPC, 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 costumes or to ensure the normal course of the 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)? Within the laws of the Macao SAR, no provisions regarding this issue are provided.
However, in practice, it is deemed that the court would "bluepencil" requests if necessary, so that they can be executed and facilitate the course of the related proceedings.
Is the witness provided in advance with a copy of the questions / matters to be addressed as contained in the Letter of Request? No. In fact, according to Article 539 (5) of the CPC, i.e. referring to Article 485 (3) of the CPC, the witnesses are not even permitted to prepare any written testimony.
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, legalisation 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. According to Article 539 (2) of the CPC, witnesses can be made subject to supplementary interrogation conducted by the lawyer of the counter party.
Are there sanctions for non-appearance of witness? In accordance with Article 530 (4) of the CPC, 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.
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, a 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 audiovisual system (Article 449 of the CPC).
In some cases, the judge may allow for written testimony, if necessary, after seeking opinions of the parties, and provided that it is impossible or difficult for the witnesses to appear in court (Article 525 and 540 of the CPC).
Chapter II
(Taking of evidence by diplomatic officers, consular agents and commissioners)
Article 15 Applicable
Article 16 Not applicable
Article 17 Not applicable
Article 18 Not applicable
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?  
Bilateral or multilateral agreements  
Useful links:  

(This page was last updated on 28 July 2014)

Conventions (incl. Protocols and Principles)