Macau law is broadly based on Portuguese law, and therefore part of the civil law tradition of continental European legal systems. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Macau topics. Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society Civil law or Romano-Germanic law or Continental law is the predominant system of law in the world. Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the Continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European Portuguese law is itself highly influenced by German law. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. However, many other influences are present, including Chinese law, Italian law, and some narrow aspects of common law. Chinese Law is one of the oldest Legal traditions in the world Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Common law refers to law and the corresponding legal system developed through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive
The apex of the legal system is the Basic Law of the Macau SAR, a Chinese law approved in accordance with and due to the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration on the Question of Macau (an international treaty that is officially deposited at the UN) and with article 31 of the Constitution of the PRC. The Sino-British Joint Declaration, formally known as the Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Within Macau, the Basic Law has constitutional rank. The Basic Law of Macau is modelled upon the Basic Law of Hong Kong, although it is not totally equal, as it namely is influenced by the Portuguese Constitution in some points as, for example, in some norms concerning fundamental rights. The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, or simply Hong Kong Basic Law, serves as the Constitutional document The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights applies in Macau.
The legal system of Macau was not substantially modified in 1999, as a result of the transfer of power from Portugal to the PRC, given that there is a principle of continuity of the pre-existing legal system, according to which all sources in force prior to the transfer of sovereignty continued to apply, with some minor exceptions that were specified in December 1999. Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar)
The courts of the Macau SAR are structured in three levels and have final power of adjudication, except in very narrow areas. The Court of Final Appeal has three judges, and the Court of Second Instance has five judges. Trial by jury is foreseen in the law, but is not used.
Macau is typically a civil law legal system, in that legislation is the main source of law and case law, while clearly relevant, is not a major source of law. Macau has the five 'classic' codifications: the Civil Code, the Commercial Code, the Civil Procedure Code, the Penal Code, the Criminal procedure Code. In addition, there are a number of other smaller codifications (e. g. , in the field of administrative law).
Private law in Macau is basically codified in two separate codes: the 1999 Civil Code and the 1999 Commercial code. A civil code is a systematic compilation of laws designed to comprehensively deal with the core areas of Private law. In law a Commercial code is a codification of private law relating to merchants trade business entities (especially companies commercial contracts and other matters such as negotiable A number of other pieces of legislation, such as the law on standard contract terms, are also of importance. The Commercial Code has been translated into English and is freely available in the website of the Macau Official Printing House (see link below). English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States For a partial translation of the Civil Code, see the bibliography below.
The Faculty of Law of the University of Macau was created in the late 1980s and currently offers law degrees and master programmes conducted in Chinese and Portuguese languages. The University of Macau ( Universidade de Macau established in 1981, was the first and currently the largest (in terms of student population university in Macau It also offers two master and postgraduate programmes in English, one in EU, international and comparative law, and the other in international business law. In addition, it offers PhD programs in law.
Macau gaming law is discussed in a separate entry. Gaming law is the set of rules and regulations that apply to the gaming or gambling industry including table games slot machines pari-mutuels (horse and greyhound racing lotteries
Jorge Godinho, Macau Business Law and Legal System, LexisNexis, Hong Kong, 2007 . This book includes a partial English translation of the Macau Civil Code 1999.