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香港与内地宣布就民商事案件相互委托取证作出安排

三月 15, 2017

 

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《关于内地与香港特别行政区法院就民商事案件相互委托提取证据的安排》(简称“该安排”;英文版点击此处;中文版点击此处)于2017年3月1日起生效。

该安排所采取的机制类似于《1970年海牙民商事域外取证公约》或《香港特别行政区政府与美利坚合众国政府关于刑事司法协助的协议》等类型的双边司法协助协议,即每一方确定一个中央或联络机关来处理某些规定的证据请求。

该安排就民商事诉讼中自香港或内地的第三方处取证事宜建立了一个更加高效的制度,并取代了先前“跨境”提取证据请求须先通过香港和内地的多个高级行政机关传递、再由相关地点的执行机关出具的方式。

该安排中可提供的协助范围在两个法域之间有所不同。内地的民商事程序的当事方可请求香港方面就“讯问证人”或“检查、拍摄、保存、保管或扣留财产”事项给予协助。相比之下,香港处于同等程序的当事方仅可请求内地方面就取得“当事人的陈述及证人证言”或“书证、物证(亦译作实物证据)、视听资料及电子数据”事宜给予协助。这些区别反映出两个法域之间在实践层面以及当事方在域内程序中通常可获得的法院判令类别方面的差异。

根据该安排,委托书应以中文文本提出。受委托方应当尽量在六个月内完成请求事项。该安排还就委托书(须由各自法域的法院出具)的内容做出规定。

如果受委托方认为相关请求不符合本辖区所适用法律的规定,其可要求修改或补充相关请求。而如果相关请求不属于该安排规定的委托事项范围,受委托方可退回该请求。

该安排将克服在“跨境”争议中提取证据方面存在的部分难题。尽管判断该安排是否会导致香港与内地之间提取证据请求的大幅增长还为时尚早,但就这两个法域内的民商事诉讼的发展而言,这似乎是朝着正确方向迈出的重要一步。


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