The Deputy Secretary for Justice (DSJ), Mr Cheung Kwok-kwan, visited Guangzhou and Shenzhen today (April 19) to further implement and take forward the work of the working group on Guangdong-Hong Kong co-operation on legal and dispute resolution services and the working group on Hong Kong-Shenzhen legal co-operation. He also renewed with the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government the Co-operative Arrangement on Legal Matters between Shenzhen Municipal People's Government and the Department of Justice (DoJ) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, to continue implementing the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area's deployment requirements, and to enhance co-operation in taking forward the building of the rule of law in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).
Mr Cheung departed for Guangzhou in the morning to call on the Department of Justice of Guangdong Province and met with its Director-General, Mr Chen Xudong. Mr Cheung said that advancing the legal systems' connectivity and co-operation within the GBA is one of the key policy initiatives of the DoJ. As such, the GBA Task Force was established by the Secretary for Justice in January this year. Chaired by DSJ, the GBA Task Force has held its first meeting, focusing on enhancing the convergence of legal practices in the GBA, advancing the practice of mutual legal assistance, and promoting the development of online dispute resolution and the application of lawtech in the GBA. At the meeting today, further collaboration on legal and dispute resolutions in the GBA was explored to better the alignment and harmonisation of relevant mechanisms and practices, jointly capitalising the GBA's unique strengths of "one country, two systems and three jurisdictions" to promote the building of the rule of law in the GBA.
In the afternoon, Mr Cheung went to Shenzhen to meet with Deputy Secretary-General of the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government Mr Huang Qiang. The Co-operative Arrangement on Legal Matters was renewed for another five years after the meeting. The renewed Arrangement will continue to strengthen co-operation on legal matters between Hong Kong and Shenzhen and provide a robust exchange platform for the two cities' government departments and the legal sectors. It will also support Hong Kong's position as an international centre for legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region as provided for under the National 14th Five-Year Plan. The first five-year Co-operative Arrangement on Legal Matters was signed in 2011 by the DoJ and the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government.
Mr Cheung then visited the Shenzhen Qianhai Cooperation Zone People's Court (Qianhai Court) and the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA). He also exchanged views with the President of the Qianhai Court, Mr Bian Fei, and the President of SCIA, Mr Liu Xiaochun, on the development of and co-operation in dispute resolution related to Hong Kong, including the use of technology. Besides, he was briefed on the latest development of Qianhai in the company of Deputy Director-General of the Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen Municipality Mr Liu Guilin.
Mr Cheung returns to Hong Kong this evening after the visit concluded.
Ends/Wednesday, April 19, 2023