The Deputy Secretary for Justice, Mr Cheung Kwok-kwan, leading a delegation of young lawyers to visit cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), concluded his visit to Shenzhen today (November 17) and departed for Foshan.
In the morning, Mr Cheung and his delegation called on the Justice Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality and met with its Director, Ms Jiang Xiaowen. During the discussion session, both sides explored the opportunities for co-operation between the two places, including foreign-related legal services and nurturing international legal talent.
Mr Cheung expressed his gratitude to the Justice Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality for its facilitation and support for solicitors and barristers of Hong Kong who passed the GBA Legal Professional Examination to practise in Shenzhen. He hoped that both sides would continue to make good use of the Co-operative Arrangement on Legal Matters he renewed on behalf of the Department of Justice (DoJ) with the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government in April this year, and continue to promote the interface and connectivity of the legal systems in the GBA, to facilitate exchanges between the government departments and the legal sectors of Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and to encourage Hong Kong young legal professionals to integrate into the national development.
He also pointed out that the Hong Kong Legal Week 2023 held last week attracted over 11 000 participants in person and online from more than 50 jurisdictions. In addition to the GBA-themed forum, exhibition booths dedicated to promoting legal services in Hong Kong, Macao and the nine Mainland cities in the GBA were also set up for the first time. He wished that through the platform of the Legal Week, stakeholders in the GBA would continue to deepen exchanges and collectively contribute to the development of rule of law in the GBA.
The delegation also gained a better understanding from the Justice Bureau regarding the latest developments of the promotion of rule of law education in Shenzhen, and exchanged views on how young lawyers can join efforts in taking forward rule of law education. Mr Cheung said that the DoJ has been actively preparing for the launch of the first phase of the Rule of Law Education Train-the-Leaders Programme, and encouraged young legal professionals of the two places to proactively assist in promoting the rule of law.
While in Shenzhen, Mr Cheung and his delegation also visited the Shenzhen Qianhai Cooperation Zone People’s Court (Qianhai Court) and toured its Alternative Dispute Resolution Center for International Commercial Disputes, the Litigation Service Center, the E-courtroom and the Technology Court. They also met with the President of the Qianhai Court, Mr Bian Fei, and held an exchange session. In addition to understanding how lawtech improved the efficiency in the handling of cross-jurisdictional cases in the Qianhai Court, the delegation also explored ways to strengthen Hong Kong young legal talent’ engagement in foreign-related civil and commercial cases, including the relevant work requiring the application of Hong Kong law.
The delegation also visited the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) and was briefed by its Vice President Ms An Xin on SCIA’s latest developments. Both sides also discussed various topics including the promotion of smart arbitration, and the strengthening of professional collaboration on legal and dispute resolution services in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Mr Cheung said that Qianhai was not only a national strategic platform for Shenzhen-Hong Kong co-operation, but also served as a bridgehead for national technology development, as well as a pilot zone to implement the measure for “allowing Hong Kong-invested enterprises to adopt Hong Kong law”. Qianhai handled a significant number of foreign-related cases, thereby exhibiting a keen demand for foreign-related legal talent. He hoped that Hong Kong young solicitors and barristers would proactively engage in the building of the rule of law in Qianhai and the GBA, and further connect their career development with the national development.
He mentioned that the Policy Address stressed Hong Kong’s development of the “eight centres” as outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan, which would create stronger impetus for Hong Kong’s growth. To consolidate Hong Kong’s status as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia Pacific region, the DoJ has been actively pursuing the extension of the measures of “allowing Hong Kong-invested enterprises to adopt Hong Kong law” and “allowing Hong Kong-invested enterprises to choose for arbitration to be seated in Hong Kong” to the whole GBA. He said he believed that both measures would not only provide sound legal services and safeguards to enable foreign investors to use Hong Kong as the gateway to the Mainland as well as to enable Mainland investors to use Hong Kong as the port to expand overseas, but also be conducive to the collaborative development of the legal professions of the two places.
In addition, the delegation also took the opportunity to visit Tencent’s headquarters in Shenzhen and Mindray Biomedical Electronics Co, Ltd, to better understand the impact of innovation and technology on how legal services would support the development of different industries.
Issued at HKT 19:14