The five-day Hong Kong Legal Week 2022 (Legal Week), an annual flagship event of the Department of Justice (DoJ) to showcase Hong Kong as an international legal and dispute resolution services centre, commenced today (November 7), drawing participation from three prominent international legal organisations, namely the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as well as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, chambers of commerce, legal and other sectors.
During its seven conferences and seminars, participants attending onsite or online will discuss a wide range of topics, from facilitating access to justice through international instruments, arbitration, online dispute resolution to transnational litigation in civil and commercial matters and LawTech.
This morning, the event was kicked off with the Asia-Pacific Private International Law Summit where representatives of UNIDROIT, HCCH and UNCITRAL and other distinguished guest speakers discussed diversified topics, such as international instruments supporting asset-based financing, digital assets and private law. The Summit was the first event co-organised by the DoJ and the UNIDROIT under the memorandum of understanding signed earlier this year.
Addressing at the opening of the Legal Week, the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, said that the Legal Week is the starting point to showcase to the international community two important aspects of Hong Kong's legal system: the advantages of Hong Kong's rule of law as well as its diversified legal and dispute resolution services under the common law system.
The participation of speakers and guests from renowned international organisations and leading international experts of the relevant areas in Hong Kong Legal Week signified their vote of confidence in Hong Kong, the city's rule of law and its strengths under the principle of "one country, two systems", he said.
He also took the opportunity to share with the audience a great development - with the strong support of the country, the International Organization for Mediation (IOMed) Preparatory Office will be established in Hong Kong for the preparatory work to establish the IOMed which will provide friendly, flexible, economical and efficient mediation services for international disputes.
The Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Liu Guangyuan, and the Secretary-General of the UNIDROIT, Professor Ignacio Tirado, also gave their welcoming speeches at the event opening to the audience.
To conclude the first day event, the Secretary for Justice, Mr Paul Lam, SC, highlighted Hong Kong's close ties and co-operation with the Mainland, and strong connection with renowned international organisations.
He noted that the Summit is particularly momentous as it had brought together in one arena the "three sister" organisations of private international law - UNIDROIT, HCCH and UNCITRAL - all of which the DoJ has been working very closely with in recent years, with support from the Central People's Government.
He said he hoped that the close synergy between Hong Kong and prominent law-related international organisations may create more opportunities and better prospect for the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
The Legal Week will end this Friday (November 11) with the Rule of Law Congress, at which the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee; the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, Mr Andrew Cheung Kui-nung; and the Secretary for Justice, Mr Paul Lam, will speak.
The Congress will focus on safeguarding the rule of law and ensuring access to justice to all. To reach out to and engage young people, students from local tertiary institutions and youth groups will join the event, including a dedicated panel session to discuss how to mobilise the younger generation to take a more proactive role in promoting the proper understanding and practice of the rule of law among our community.
For more details on the Legal Week, please visit the dedicated website www.legalweek.hk. The event is broadcast live at webcast.info.gov.hk.
Ends/Monday, November 7, 2022