The Secretary for Justice (right) with the President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, during an official visit in London in September 2013
The Secretary for Justice and the Law Officers regularly meet visitors from the Mainland and overseas, both lawyers and non-lawyers. The Secretary for Justice personally met numerous visitors or delegations from overseas and the Mainland between 2012 and 2014. Those from overseas included the Minister of Justice of New Zealand, Attorney General of Singapore, Minister of Justice of Mongolia, and Chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales. Visitors from the Mainland included senior judges from the Supreme People’s Court and senior officials from the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Departments of Justice at the provincial and municipal levels. Other members of the Department met a wide range of visitors to the Department from 2012 to 2014. Members of the Department also gave briefings on the HKSAR’s legal system to many distinguished visitors from the Mainland and overseas, including lawyers, legislators, journalists and consular officials.
The Secretary for Justice and the Law Officers themselves from time to time visit their counterparts or undertake duties in other jurisdictions. For instance, in 2012 and 2013, the Secretary for Justice met officials of the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Justice and other law departments in Beijing, and visited Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Tianjin and Qingdao, to discuss measures to further enhance legal co-operation between the HKSAR and the Mainland. The Secretary for Justice also visited The Hague, London, Seoul, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia, meeting senior government officials, legal practitioners and important contacts in each jurisdiction.
In September 2013, the Law Officer (International Law) led a delegation of counsel on a legal study visit to Beijing and Harbin. Organisations which the delegation visited included the Ministry of Justice, the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National Peopleís Congress and the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council.
Counsel of the Department visit the Singapore International Arbitration Centre
In 2012 and 2013, two State Counsel of the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Chambers of Singapore (Singapore AGC) were attached to the Civil Division of the Department each for five weeks. The State Counsel were interested in areas of law relating to land resumption and judicial review in particular. Attachment programmes were therefore tailored for the State Counsel with focus on exposure to these areas of law.
A Deputy Principal Government Counsel and a Government Counsel were attached to the Civil Division of the Singapore AGC for one week in January 2013, with the primary objective of gaining some insight in its work management system and the development of alternative dispute resolution and their application to the different types of civil litigation work handled by the Singapore AGC.
In September 2014, the Law Officer (International Law) received a delegation from Thailand, which was on a legal study visit to Hong Kong, and exchanged views on the operation of a number of international conventions.