The Ordinance and the Arrangement
The Mainland Judgments in Matrimonial and Family Cases (Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement) Ordinance (Cap. 639) (“Ordinance”) comes into operation on 15 February 2022. It implements the “Arrangement on Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Civil Judgments in Matrimonial and Family Cases by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” (“Arrangement”).
Features of the Arrangement:
- offer better safeguards to the interests of parties to cross-boundary marriages as well as their families and children
- minimise the need for re-litigation of the same dispute in the courts of both Hong Kong and the Mainland
- allow judicial reliefs to be obtained in a timely manner
- save time and costs and reduce emotional distress of the parties
The Ordinance establishes the following mechanisms:
- the registration in Hong Kong of specified court orders in an effective Mainland judgment given in a matrimonial or family case
- the recognition in Hong Kong of a Mainland divorce certificate issued by a civil affairs department in the Mainland
- the application for a certified copy of and certificate for a Hong Kong judgment given in a matrimonial or family case, so as to facilitate a party in seeking recognition and enforcement of the Hong Kong judgment in the Mainland
For the practice and procedures of the relevant applications to the Hong Kong courts, please refer to the Mainland Judgments in Matrimonial and Family Cases (Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement) Rules (Cap. 639A) as well as the relevant Guidance Notes promulgated by the Judiciary.