In order to fully implement the spirit of the Nineteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech made on his inspection tour of Guangdong Province and to conscientiously carry out the decisions of the Zhuhai Municipal Party Committee and of the Hengqin New Area Party Committees on greatly promoting the emancipation of the mind, the transformation of the style of work and the improvement of efficiency, this Court promulgated on December 14, 2018 the formulated Guidelines of the People’s Court of the Zhuhai Hengqin New Area on Further Strengthening Reform and Innovation to Provide Better Judicial Guarantee for the Construction of the Hengqin Free Trade Zone in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area (hereinafter referred to as the Guidelines). The Guidelines are divided into 20 measures in five respects, which embody the following characteristics:
1. The establishment of an outlook of bearing the overall national interests in mind. At a time when we have entered a new era, General Secretary Xi Jinping required the people of Guangdong Province to further emancipate their minds and realize the goal of "leading the country in four respects". At the historical juncture when we are marking the 40th anniversary of the initiation of the reform and opening up, the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone and Hengqin Free Trade Zone ushered in such major historical opportunities as the commissioning of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the promulgation and implementation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Great Bay Area Planning and the acceleration of the construction of the Pearl River Delta National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone. At the critical moment, this Court unifies its personnel's thinking, elevates its positioning, consciously takes the overall situation of the Party and the State in planning the work of the court, deepens the study and implementation of the great implications of the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech, earnestly strengthens its sense of commitment in terms of politics, historical missions and discharge of responsibilities, and works hard consciously to ensure that its thoughts and actions are in full conformity with the decision-making and planning of the Party committee. We will further emancipate our minds, persist in reform and innovation, strive to create a safe, stable, transparent, competitive, orderly, mutually beneficial and win-win legal environment, provide better judicial guarantee for building Hengqin into a safest, most stable, and fairest area in the country with the highest degree of justice, and make positive contributions to the development of the Guangdong- Hong Kong-Macau Great Bay Area.
2. Using as the basis its positioning as the Court of the Free Trade Zone. This Court deeply understands the objectives of the construction of the Great Bay Area and the Free Trade Zone (FTZ). In the Guidelines, we have put forward 20 measure in five respects, respectively including grasping the target orientation of the construction of the Great Bay Area and Free Trade Zone, promoting the creation of an internationalized market-oriented law-based business environment, enhancing the level of judicial services and judicial guarantee, responding to the new judicial needs of the development of the Great Bay Area and the Free Trade Zone, and advancing the in-depth integration in the development of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. The 20 measures cover the functions and growth objectives of the Court of the Free Trade Zone in the new era of reform and development. The purpose is to provide high-quality judicial services and more powerful judicial guarantee for the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area and the Hengqin Free Trade Zone, and to spare no effort in boosting the "second start-up" of the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone in the new era.
3. Focusing on creating a law-based business environment. The Guidelines highlight the judicial requirements for creating a law-based business environment around the construction of the Great Bay Area and the Free Trade Zone, advocate building a platform for judicial cooperation in the Great Bay Area and trying fairly and efficiently law cases related to cross-border investment and cross-border e-commerce. The Guidelines also propose that equal treatment in the application of laws should be accorded, without exception, to all Chinese and foreign enterprises, enterprises within and without the Free Trade Zone, domestic enterprises, and enterprises with Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan investment and that equal protection should be provided for the legitimate rights and interests of all kinds of market subjects, in order to maintain the investment confidence of market subjects. We will promote the formation of an equitable, orderly and vibrant law-based business environment in the Free Trade Zone, especially in the area of intellectual property protection, with a view to vigorously promoting the construction of a high-quality economic development system and mechanism. We will intensify the protection of original works and well-known trademarks and ramp up the healthy growth of emerging industries. We will explore and solve the practical problems of low cost of intellectual property infringement on the one hand and high cost of rights protection on the other, step up the penalty to acts of infringement according to law, continuously optimize the innovation environment, give full play to the leading role of scientific and technological innovation, and serve the strategy of the innovation-driven development.
4. Emphatically taking forward the in-depth integration of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau in their development. With the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge opening to traffic, more frequent exchanges between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau have brought new opportunities for the construction and development of the Great Bay Area and the Free Trade Zone, as well as new challenges for the work of the court. It is expected that more and more Macau residents will come to live and work in Hengqin. In order to meet the diversified judicial needs of people in the new Macauese neighborhoods, this Court will endeavor to turn the challenges into innovative opportunities, step up the innovation for a diversified mechanism for dispute resolution, give full play to the function of mediation, and build a multi-level, multi-subject and multi-method dispute resolution mechanism. In its prophase work, this Court engaged people from Hong Kong and Macau to act as special mediators or people's jurors. We will make full use of the special mediation team to build a multi-dimensional mediation platform. We will utilize the convenient conditions brought about by the coexistence of various dispute resolution mechanisms and legal services agencies in Hengqin. We have begun to explore the possibility of establishing a cooperation mechanism with the Hengqin Civil and Commercial Mediation Center and the Mainland, Hong Kong & Macau Associated Law Firm. We also plan to seek the cooperation of such societies and associations as the Macau Neighborhood Federation and the Mainland, Hong Kong & Macau Associated Law Firm so that we can provide convenient and effective ways to settle disputes for Macau residents living in Hengqin.
5. Emphatically extending the judicial function of the court. Firstly, we will improve the situation analysis system for enterprises involved in litigation in the Free Trade Zone. We will strengthen the identification and prevention of major dispute risks and risks of a systemic nature, establish a mechanism with the functional departments of the Free Trade Zone for consultation and research and for early warning of risks, and regularly provide the information on the overall situation of enterprises involved in litigation in the Free Trade Zone, so as to offer useful data for enterprises to prevent legal risks. Secondly, we will issue guidelines for the trial of FTZ-related cases. We will analyze the situation concerning the trial of FTZ-related cases, summarize the situation to identify the law of how dispute cases happen and are handled and enhance the predictability and degree of convenience of parties' participation in litigation. And, thirdly, we will formulate a Litigation Risk Disclosure for litigation subjects of Hong Kong or Macau identity. Based on the differences between the judicial system of the Mainland and that of Hong Kong and Macau, the Litigation Risk Disclosure summarizes the litigation risks commonly experienced by litigants in Hong Kong and Macau and will help to reduce possible disputes arising from different legal systems and judicial systems.
The official opening to traffic of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge has brought new benefits and opportunities for deeper communication and exchange among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. This Court, located at the bridgehead, so to speak, shoulders the important task of further optimizing the business environment and deepening reform and innovation. Guided by Xi Jinping's thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era, this Court persists in the in-depth study and implementation of the spirit of the Nineteenth National Congress of the Party and, by firmly focusing on the goal of "letting the people feel fairness and justice in the handling of every judicial case" and sticking to the goal-oriented and problem-oriented approach, will never let the Guidelines remain on paper, but will, instead, implement in a down-to-earth manner the 20 measures so as to provide better services and guarantee for the construction of the Great Bay Area and the Free Trade Zone!