Photo Xinhua/Cheong Kam Ka

Mainland-Macau judicial assistance arrangements contribute to development of both sides – Top Court Vice-President

The signing of three documents on judicial assistance between the mainland and Macau over the past 20 years since the city’s return to the motherland has contributed to economic and social development and benefited people of both sides, said Yang Wanming, vice president of China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC).

The three judicial assistance arrangements signed between the SPC and the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), a major accomplishment in terms of mainland-Macau judicial cooperation, have provided legal guarantees for the implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle and a powerful force for deepening all-around cooperation between the mainland and Macau, Yang said in an interview with Xinhua.

The mainland and Macau have different legal and judicial systems and had no agreements or arrangements of judicial assistance before Macao’s return to China in 1999, Yang noted.

After Macau’s return, a rising number and increased types of legal and judicial cases involving both the mainland and Macao needed to be addressed, making it a “historic mission” for both sides to explore ways to step up judicial assistance cooperation for social fairness and justice, Yang said.

In 2001, the SPC and the Macau SAR signed an arrangement on the mutual service of documents and obtaining evidence in handling civil and commercial cases. Two assistance arrangements on the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters and of arbitral awards, were signed between the two sides in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

Earlier this year, the SPC and the Macao SAR, while reviewing the implementation of the arrangement on the mutual service of documents and obtaining evidence in handling civil and commercial cases, agreed to jointly build an online mainland-Macao judicial assistance platform, as well as to revise and improve the arrangement.

Currently, the construction of the platform is basically completed. Courts of the two sides can serve judicial documents and obtain evidence via the platform once the revised arrangement is signed in 2020 as scheduled, which will save a lot of time through online transmission, examination, processing and tracking.

Yang said promoting mainland-Macao judicial assistance is a mission of the times for people’s courts, which are fulfilling their duties in service of the practice of “one country, two systems” in Macao.