Communicate more, listen more

To ensure that the Government’s future work will be more responsive to the sentiments of the community, the Chief Executive announced last month that the style of governance had to be more open and inclusive. We had to reform the way we listen to public views too. The Government will meet with individuals from different walks of life and reach out to young people to maintain political awareness and gauge the pulse of the community.

As part of the Government, my colleagues and I have been meeting with various legal professional bodies and individuals from the legal and dispute resolution services sector over the last month to listen to their views on the current situation. They were also invited to offer suggestions on the upcoming Policy Address. We will continue to gauge the views from the legal and dispute resolution sector and hope that our collective wisdom would enable the Government to formulate policies which cater to the different needs of the public.

The Government has all along attached great importance to its communication with the youths. With the assistance from the International Youth Legal Exchange Federation, I was earlier given an opportunity to spend an enjoyable afternoon with a group of law students. The students, who joined the Mainland China Legal Internship Programme, just completed their one-month exchange at law firms, business organisations or arbitration institutions in Shanghai or Beijing. They shared with each other their experience and insights at the gathering. Most of them agreed that the programme had widened their horizon by learning more about the development of legal, economics and livelihood of our country. This invaluable experience would no doubt be beneficial to help them work with Mainland or overseas legal professionals and businessmen in future. They understood that they can only improve themselves by adopting a far-sighted and open-minded attitude while keeping abreast of the development of our country and the rest of the world.

Some barristers and solicitors who are in private practice, as well as our government counsel were invited to share with the students about the different areas of legal services. I hope that this would help the students be better equipped and prepare themselves for their career development. Whilst encouraging them to visit more places to experience for themselves different legal systems, we also invited them to be Hong Kong’s ambassadors to promote our legal systems and competitive edges. I hope that during the course of study, they will grasp the chance to let more people learn about Hong Kong.

Meeting with law students is the first step taken by the Department of Justice in line with the new style of governance. My colleagues and I are endeavoured to introduce more new measures to better gauge the public sentiments and ensure that our policies bring more benefits and convenience to the public.

August 15, 2019