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TREATY ON JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE IN CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL MATTERS BETWEEN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE

From: 外交部条法司民商(刑)事司法协助条约集(英文)         Updated: 1997-04-28

The People's Republic of China and the Republic of Singapore (hereinafter referred to as the Contracting Parties) in order to strengthen the ties of friendship and co-operation between their two countries are desirous of concluding a treaty on judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit of the two countries:

With the above objective in mind, the Contracting Parties have agreed as follows:


CHAPTER 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS

ARTICLE 1

JUDICIAL PROTECTION


1.In civil and commercial matters. citizens of one Contracting Party shall enjoy in the territory of' the other Contracting Party the same judicial protection as the citizens of the other Contracting Party and shall have access to the courts of the other Contracting Party under the same conditions as the citizens of the other Contracting Party.

2.Unless otherwise provided by a Contracting Party’s written laws, its courts shall not

order the citizens of the other Contracting Party to provide security for litigation costs on the ground that they are non-citizens.

3.The provisions in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article shall also apply to any legal entities or persons established or permitted to exist according to the laws and regulations of either Contracting Party.


ARTICLE 2

SCOPE OF JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE


The judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters to be provided mutually by both Contracting Parties pursuant to this Treaty shall include-

(a)service of judicial documents;

(b)the taking of evidence;

(c) the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards: and

(d)  the provision of  information between the Contracting Parties on their civil  and commercial law, as well as their judicial practice in civil and commercial proceedings.


ARTICLE 3

CENTRAL AUTHORITY


1.Unless otherwise provided in this Treaty, judicial assistance shall be rendered through the Central Authority appointed or set up by each Contracting Party.

2.The Central Authority of each Contracting Party shall be responsible for communicating the various requests and the results of execution of the requests pursuant to paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) of Article 2.

3.The Central Authority for the People’s Republic of China is the Ministry of Justice and the Central Authority for the Republic of Singapore is the Supreme Court. In the event of any change in a Contracting Party's Central Authority, notice of such change shall be given to the other Contracting Party through diplomatic channels.


ARTICLE 4

APPLICABLE  LAW  FOR  JUDICIAL  ASSISTANCE


Unless otherwise provided in this Treaty, each Contracting Party shall apply its own laws when executing requests for judicial assistance within its territory.


CHAPTER 2

SERVICE OF JUDICIAL DOCUMENTS

ARTICLE 5

IMPLEMENTATION


The request for service of judicial documents shall be made by way of a Request for Service issued by the Central Authority of the requesting party. The Central Authority of the requested party, if it is not the judicial authority of the requested party, shall cause the said documents to be served by the judicial authorities on the person concerned resident in the territory of the requested party. 


ARTICLE 6

FORM AND LANGUAGE


The Request for Service shall be made in the official language of the requesting party in the form as provided in Annexure 1 of this Treaty accompanied by a translation in the official language of the requested party. Two copies of the judicial documents together with two copies of the translation in the official language of the requested party shall be sent with the request.


ARTICLE 7

MANNER OF EXECUTION


1.The judicial documents shall be served either 一

(a)by a method prescribed by the requested party's internal law for the service of documents in domestic actions upon persons who are within its territory; or

(b)by a particular method requested by the requesting party, unless such a method is incompatible with the law of the requested party.

2.Each Contracting Party may effect service of  judicial documents on its own citizens residing in the territory of the other Contracting Party through its diplomatic or consular agencies provided that, in effecting such service, the laws of the other Contracting Party are not violated  and  no compulsion of any kind is taken.


ARTICLE 8

INCOMPLETE OR INACCURATE ADDRESS


If the address of a person on whom judicial documents are to be served (“the addressee”) is incomplete or inaccurate, the Central Authority of the requested party may ask the requesting party to provide additional information to locate the addressee. If the Central Authority of the requested party is still unable to locate the addressee with the additional information given to it or for any other reason unable to serve the judicial documents, it shall notify the requesting party accordingly, state the reasons for not being able to effect service and return the judicial documents.


ARTICLE 9

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE


The Central Authority of the requested party shall forward to the Central Authority of the requesting party the Certificate of Service issued by the judicial authorities which effected or attempted the service at the request of the requesting party. The Certificate shall —

(a)identify the Request for Service and the judicial documents requested to be served;

(b)state the name and designation of the person who effected the service and the manner, date and place of service;

(c)if service is unsuccessful, stale the reason for not being able to effect the service; and

(d)certify the cost of effecting the service or attempted service.


ARTICLE 10

FEES FOR EFFECTING SERVICE


The Central Authority of the requesting party shall pay to the Central Authority of the requested party the expenses incurred in effecting or attempting to effect service of judicial documents pursuant to the request for service.


ARTICLE 11

REFUSAL OF REQUEST


1.A requested party may refuse to comply with a request for service of judicial documents if it is of the view that the execution of such request is or will be contrary to its sovereignty, security or national interest and shall promptly give the requesting party the reasons for the refusal.

2.The requested party may not refuse to comply solely on the ground that, under its internal laws, it claims exclusive jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the action or that its internal law would not permit the action upon which the application is based.


CHAPTER 3

TAKING OF EVIDENCE

ARTICLE 12

SCOPE OF APPLICATION


1.In civil and commercial matters, the court of one Contracting Party may request the

other Contracting Party to take evidence which it deems necessary such as the examination

of parties, witnesses and experts and the production of documents.

2.The evidence may be taken before the court of the requested party or any fit and proper person named in the Letter of  Request or such other person as the court of the requested party thinks fit.


ARTICLE 13

FORM AND LANGUAGE


1. The Letter of Request shall be in the official language of the requesting party and include the following information:

(a)the title and address of the court making the request;

(b)the nature of the proceedings pending before the court in which the evidence is required;

(c)the names and addresses of the parties to the proceeding;

(d)the names and addresses of the parties, witnesses and experts.to be examined; 

(e)the list of documents to be produced, if any;

(f) the questions to be put to the parties, witnesses and experts to be examined;

(g) such other information as may be necessary, for example, the circumstances under which the evidence is to be taken and any requirement that the evidence is to be given on oath or affirmation.

2. The Letter of Request shall be accompanied by a copy of translation in the official language of the requested party of the Letter of  Request and any documents attached to the Letter of  Request.


ARTICLE 14

MANNER OF EXECUTION


1.The laws of the requested party shall be applied in the taking of evidence and when necessary, the appropriate compulsory measures prescribed under its laws may be invoked.

2.Each Contracting Party may take evidence from its citizens residing in the territory of the other Contracting Party directly through its diplomatic or consular agencies provided that, in the taking of such evidence, the laws of the other Contracting Party arc not violated and no compulsion of any kind is taken.


ARTICLE 15

INCOMPLETE OR INACCURATE ADDRESS


If  the court or other person of the requested party is unable to take evidence based on the address stated in the Letter of Request, the requested party may ask the requesting party to provide additional information. If the court or other person of the requested party taking the evidence is still unable to locate the addressee with the additional information provided, the requested party shall so notify the requesting party through its Central Authority and return all attached documents.


ARTICLE 16

NOTIFICATION OF OUTCOME OF EXECUTION


The court or other person of the requested party shall, through its Central Authority, forward to the requesting party the evidence taken pursuant to the request, together with information pertaining to the date, place and manner of the taking of evidence and the expenses incurred in, and the outcome of, the execution of the request. 


ARTICLE 17 

EXPENSES


The Central Authority of the requesting party shall reimburse the Central Authority of the requested party for payments made to parties, witnesses and experts examined pursuant to the request, as expenses of going to, remaining at and returning from the place of execution of the request, and other expenses incurred by the Central Authority of the requested party in the execution of the request to take evidence.


ARTICLE 18

REFUSAL OF REQUEST


1.If the requested party is of the view that a request for the taking of evidence is or will be prejudicial to its sovereignty, security or national interest or if, under its laws, the execution of the said request is not within the power or scope of duty of its judicial authority, it may wholly or partially refuse the request and shall promptly inform the requesting party of the reason for refusal.

2.Execution may not be refused solely on the ground .that under its internal laws the requested party claims exclusive jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the action or that its internal laws would not admit a right of action on it.


ARTICLE 19

REFUSAL TO GIVE EVIDENCE


1.In the execution of a Letter of  Request, the witness who is to be examined may refuse to give evidence in so far as —

(a)under the law of the requested party he has the right to refuse to give the evidence or is prohibited from doing so; or

(b)under the law of  the requesting party he has such a right or is under such a prohibition and the right or prohibition has been specified in the Letter, or at the instance of the requested party, has been otherwise confirmed by the Central Authority of the requesting party.

2.The evidence taken shall not be transmitted to the court requesting the evidence if that court, on the matter being referred to it, uphold the claim of the witness in question to be exempt from giving the evidence.


CHAPTER 4

RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF ARBITRAL AWARDS

ARTICLE 20

RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF ARBITRAL AWARDS


Each Contracting Party shall, in accordance with the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards concluded in New York on 10th June 1958, recognise and enforce the arbitral awards made in the territory of the other Contracting Party.


CHAPTER 5

OTHER CLAUSES

ARTICLE 21

DISPENSATION OF AUTHENTICATION


In the application of this Treaty, documents and translations drawn up or certified by courts or other competent authorities of either Contracting Party shall not be subject to authentication in any form provided they are officially sealed.


ARTICLE 22

EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION


1.The Contracting Parties shall supply each other with information on the law and practice in force in their territories.

2.A request for information shall state the authority from which it emanates as well as the nature of the case in connection with which the information is requested.


ARTICLE 23

RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES


Any dispute arising from the interpretation or implementation of this Treaty shall be resolved by consultation or negotiations through diplomatic channels. 


CHAPTER 6

FINAL CLAUSES

ARTICLE 24

ENTRY INTO FORCE


1.Each Contracting Party will notify the other Contracting Party through diplomatic channels after the procedure for bringing this Treaty into force have been completed in accordance with its laws. This Treaty shall enter into force thirty days from the date of the later notification.

2.This Treaty shall also apply to requests made in respect of legal proceedings commenced prior to this Treaty entering into force.


ARTICLE 25

TERMINATION


1.Either Contracting Party may terminate this Treaty at anytime by giving written notice to the other Contracting Party through diplomatic channels. The termination shall take effect one year from the date of the written notice.

2.Not with standing the termination of this Treaty, any request received prior to the termination of this Treaty shall continue to be processed in accordance with the terms of this Treaty.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the authorised representatives of both Governments have affixed signatures and seals on this Treaty.

Done in duplicate in Beijing on the 28th day of April, 1997, in the Chinese and English languages, both texts being equally authentic.



Annexure 1

REQUEST FOR SERVICE OF DOCUMENT

TREATY ON JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE

IN CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL MATTERS

BETWEEN THE PEOPLED REPUBLIC OF CHINA

AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE


The [name of Central Authority of Requesting Party] has the honour to send to the [name of Central Authority of Requested Party) the documents in duplicate set out below. You are kindly requested to send a copy thereof to the addressee, in pursuance of Article 7 of the Treaty:

*(a) in accordance with the procedure laid down by the law of the requested country.

*(b) in accordance with the following particular method:


(REQUESTING PARTY)(ADDRESSEE)

Name: 

Address: ___________________________________________

Other Relevant Information:______________________________

You are kindly requested to return to the /name of Central Authority of Requesting Party /a

copy of the document and of its enclosures, together with the completed Certificate of Service.

(*delete where inapplicable) 

Annexure 1 一 continued

LIST OF DOCUMENTS

Document 1:

Title of Document:__________________________________________________________ 

Title and Address of Court Issuing the Document:__________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Nature of Proceedings in which Service is Required:__________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Names and Addresses of Parties to the Proceedings:__________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Document 2:

Title of Document: ____________________________________________________________

Title and Address of Court Issuing the Document:___________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Nature of Proceedings in which Service is Required:_________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Names and Addresses of Parties to the Proceedings:_________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

 

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

TREATY ON JUDICAIL ASSISTANCE

IN CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL MATTERS

BETWEEN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE


The [name of Central Authority of Requested Party/ has the honour to certify, in conformity with Article 9 of the Treaty, that the document  attached to the REQUEST FOR SERVICE DOCUMENT No. :

*1. has been served:

Date of Service:____________________________

Place of Service:____________________________

Method of Service:

*(a) served personally on the addressee;

*(b) a method required by the laws of the requested country other than personal

service;

*(c) the following particular method:

________________________________________________________________

Document(s) Delivered To:

Identity of Recipient: 

Relationship to Addressee:_________________

*2. has not been served for the following reasons: 

__________________________________________________________________

(*delete where inapplicable)

List of Documents Returned:

A.copy of document served;

B.original and copy of document, if service was not effected;

C.other .documents relevant to service (to specify):

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________


 

*The original text is Chinese and has been translated into English for reference only. If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the Chinese version and the English version, the Chinese version shall prevail.