Introduction

  1. Welcome to the Department of Justice’s webpage for HCCH Judgments and Jurisdiction Projects.
  2. HCCH is an intergovernmental organization, the purpose of which is “to work for the progressive unification of the rules of private international law”. The Hong Kong SAR currently applies eight conventions on private international law which were negotiated under the Hague Conference. HCCH established its Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in the Hong Kong SAR on 13 December 2012.
  3. The Judgments Project refers to HCCH’s work since 1992 on two key aspects on private international law in cross-border litigation in civil and commercial matters: the international jurisdiction of courts and the recognition and enforcement of their judgments abroad. Since 1998, counsel of the Department of Justice, as part of the Chinese delegation, have been actively participating in the Judgments Project.
  4. The Judgments Project has so far led to the conclusion of the Convention of 30 June 2005 on Choice of Court Agreements (Choice of Court Convention) and the Convention of 2 July 2019 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters (Judgments Convention). With the successful conclusion of the 2019 Judgments Convention, the focus of the normative work of the HCCH in the area of civil and commercial law has now turned again to the question of jurisdiction under HCCH’s Jurisdiction Project: eg on which grounds can a State exercise jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters.
  5. The Choice of Court Convention aims at ensuring the effectiveness of choice of court agreements between parties to international commercial transactions, thereby promoting greater legal certainty for cross-border business and facilitating international trade and investment. The Convention is currently in force with 32 contracting parties, including the European Union and its 27 member states, United Kingdom, Mexico, Montenegro and Singapore. China signed the Choice of Court Convention on 12 September 2017, pending ratification before it enters into force in China.
  6. As regards the Judgments Convention, it seeks to extend the benefits of access to justice, and reduced costs and risks of cross-border dealings, to a broader range of cases than those covered by the Choice of Court of Convention. It is designed to provide an efficient system for recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters, thereby increasing legal certainty and predictability that is important in international legal matters especially in international trade and investment. The Judgments Convention is not yet in force.
  7. Before the conclusion of the Judgments Convention in July 2019, two Informal Working Groups meetings of the Judgments Project took place in Hong Kong in February 2019 to discuss some of the outstanding issues. To promote and celebrate the successful conclusion of the Judgments Convention, the Department of Justice and HCCH, with the support of the Asian Academy of International Law, organized the inaugural global conference titled “2019 HCCH Judgments Convention: Global Enforcement of Civil and Commercial Judgments” in Hong Kong on 9 September 2019.
  8. The Hong Kong SAR Government is studying the applicability of the Choice of Court Convention and the Judgments Convention to the Hong Kong SAR. We shall also continue to participate as part of the Chinese delegation in the Jurisdiction Project.
  9. We hope that you will find the information and resources related to the HCCH Judgments and Jurisdiction Projects on this webpage useful.

The 2005 HCCH Choice of Court Agreements Convention

The 2019 HCCH Judgments Convention

Treaties & Law Unit
International Law Division
August 2020