New arbitration law to come into force in Macau

Out-Law News | 28 Nov 2019 | 11:34 am |

A new arbitration law for Macau has been published, and will come into force on 4 May 2020.

The New Arbitration Law of the Macau SAR (30-page / 733KB PDF, in Chinese and Portuguese) will govern both domestic and international arbitrations. It incorporates rules for 'emergency' arbitrations and enforcement of interim measures, in line with the provisions of the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law ('UNCITRAL Model Law').

Talib Mohammed

Mohammed Talib

Senior Associate

The changes will bring Macau into line with international best practice, particularly on the enforcement of interim measures.

Arbitration expert Mohammed Talib of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, described the new law as important to the development of Macau, "both in relation to the development of Macau as a significant arbitration hub in Greater China and for businesses within the wider Portuguese-speaking community with China".

"The enhanced regime will make Macau a more viable hub for arbitrations given the large number of local construction and infrastructure projects that are ongoing, and the continuing development of Macau," he said. "The changes will also bring Macau into line with international best practice, particularly on the enforcement of interim measures."

Macau currently operates a dual arbitration system, with different laws regulating domestic and international commercial arbitrations. The New Arbitration Law repeals and replaces both existing laws, which date back over 20 years. It also allows for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards issued outside of Macau.