- A Special Commission of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (the "Hague Conference") has been convened, with the principal task of producing a Convention on international Jurisdiction and Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters. The Department of Justice issued a consultation paper and invited comments on a preliminary draft of the Convention in January 1999.
- Two more negotiating sessions were held by the Special Commission since January 1999. A draft text of the Convention, which has been given the title of "Preliminary Draft Convention on Jurisdiction and Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters" (the "Draft Convention"), was adopted by the Special Commission on 30 October 1999. Readers may also wish to refer to the report prepared by the Reporters of the Special Commission1 for a detailed discussion of the provisions of the Draft Convention.
- Consultation paper no. 2 outlines the various provisions of the Draft Convention and invites all interested parties in Hong Kong to express their views and comments by the end of November 2000. The text of the Draft Convention is annexed to the consultation paper; it may also be downloaded from the website of the Hague Conference at www.hcch.net.
- The Draft Convention will be submitted for consideration by a diplomatic conference of the Hague Conference, expected to be held in June 2001. However, the Special Commission has not yet completed its work, as evidenced by the number of square brackets and alternative texts appearing in the Draft Convention. It is expected that the Special Commission will hold informal meetings before the diplomatic conference with the purpose of reaching consensus on as many outstanding issues as possible.
- If the Draft Convention is adopted by the Hague Conference, a decision regarding its application to Hong Kong will be taken only after the Government has considered the views of interested parties, including the two legal professional bodies, and made an assessment of the provisions of the finalised Convention. Hong Kong is represented at the Special Commission as part of the Chinese delegation2. The Department of Justice is now seeking comments on the Draft Convention.
- Comments may be addressed to the Treaties and Law Unit, International Law Division, Department of Justice, 7th Floor, Main Wing, Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong (fax no: 2877 2130; e-mail: email@example.com) on or before 30 November 2000. Inquiries on this subject should be directed to Mr Frank Poon (tel: 2810 2754; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Treaties and Law Unit, International Law Division, Department of Justice, also at the above address.