The long road to rendition

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 April, 2006, 12:00am

While judgments in commercial cases will now be reciprocally recognised and enforced by Hong Kong and the mainland, there is still a range of jurisdictional issues to be resolved between the two sides.

Discussions about an agreement on rendition - the transfer of criminal suspects - started in 1998, but there is still no sign of a deal.

The Security Bureau has also been negotiating a deal on the transfer of sentenced people between the two jurisdictions, an issue that was raised again recently due to the overcrowding of Hong Kong jails.

Bar Association vice-chairman Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said three main areas in legal relations between Hong Kong and the mainland had been dealt with so far - 'the enforcement of arbitrational awards, the service of court documents from Hong Kong on parties in mainland China and now the reciprocal enforcement of judgments in commercial cases'.

'Apart from that, many, many matters have yet to be sorted out,' such as maintenance issues, he said.

Robert Pe, of law firm Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, said there were also issues such as insolvency recognition, tort cases and intellectual property rights enforcement.

A Security Bureau spokeswoman said there was no timetable for the completion of discussions on rendition and transfer of sentenced people.