The Chief Executive just announced her latest Policy Address today. In order to provide a handy reference, I categorise the major initiatives related to the Department of Justice (DoJ) into the following four aspects:
(1) To complement national development: Develop Hong Kong as the centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region
(Legal professionals’ views: Mr Justin D'Agostino, Mr Martin Rogers, Mr Edward Liu, Mr Nicholas Chan)
(2) To promote proper understanding of rule of law: Continue to roll out Vision 2030 for Rule of Law programmes
(Legal professionals’ views: Dr Thomas So, Mr CM Chan)
- To implement arrangement on reciprocal recognition and enforcement of civil and commercial judgments between Hong Kong and the Mainland;
- To strive for measures to allow wholly owned Hong Kong enterprises (WOKEs) in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) to choose Hong Kong law as the applicable law and choose Hong Kong as the seat for arbitration;
- To explore possibility of devising mutually recognised standards and mechanisms in the areas of intellectual property and e-commerce matters, etc;
- To pursue the feasibility of setting up international dispute resolution centres in Hong Kong;
- To promote international legal co-operation and exchanges and secure hosting of decision-making meetings in Hong Kong; and
- To promote the use of dispute resolution services of Hong Kong through the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area Legal Departments Joint Conference.
(3) To enhance sense of belonging to our country: Strengthen education on Constitution, Basic Law, National Security
- To organise seminars relating to the rule of law, launch the rule of law database and discuss issues on LawTech in the Hong Kong Legal Week to be held from November 1 to 5; and
- To carry on the “3Es” projects – “engagement”, “empowerment” and “enrichment” - to promote the proper understanding and recognition of the rule of law.
(Legal professionals’ views: Ms Maria Tam, Dr Simon Hoey Lee)
(4) To build on our strengths: Attract legal talents
(Legal professional’s views: Ms Melissa Pang)
- “Empowerment”: To launch “Rule of Law Enlightenment” programme (including school talks and Rule of Law Journey); and
- “Enrichment”: To host a Basic Law conference in April 2022, to publish the “Basic Law: Selected Drafting Materials and Significant Cases”, and to host the Legal Summit on the National Security Law in 2022.
- To refine the scope of the existing industry segment and occupation of Dispute Resolution Professionals and Transactional Lawyers in the Talent List; and
- To regularise the Pilot Scheme on Facilitation for Persons Participating in Arbitral Proceedings in Hong Kong.
My colleagues and I will attend the meeting of Legislative Council’s Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services on October 11 to further explain the new initiatives and other important measures of the DoJ.
October 6, 2021