Seize opportunity to apply for secondment to HCCH and UNIDROIT

Secondment arrangement with international organizations is one of the key policies initiated by the Department of Justice in a bid to nurture legal talents through provision of training opportunities. I am very pleased to announce that the next round of selection exercise for the secondment programmes with the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) has been open to legal professionals in both public and private sectors for applications until May 10.

I am most grateful to the Central People’s Government, the HCCH and the UNIDROIT for their staunch support to the arrangements.

The HCCH is committed to working for the progressive unification of the private international law rules, finding internationally-agreed approaches in a wide range of areas, such as international civil procedure, commercial law, banking law, child protection, marriage and personal status. The UNIDROIT’s mandate is to study the needs and methods for modernizing, harmonizing and coordinating private and in particular commercial law among countries in areas such as security interests, capital markets, commercial contracts, international sales and civil procedure. The HCCH and the UNIDROIT have been playing a leading role in these areas of law.

The secondment programmes provide invaluable opportunities to Hong Kong legal professionals to work in a multi-cultural environment with colleagues coming from diverse lingual and legal traditions. They could gain top-notch experience in issues in private international law and broaden their horizons through collaborating with international law experts from different parts of the world. They could also experience the global development of international law by participating in the formulation and negotiations of international conventions or instruments.

I hope legal professionals in both public and private sectors will seize this great opportunity. I also trust law firms and barristers’ chambers would continue to encourage their young legal practitioners to apply for the secondment. They will not only benefit from the professional experience and exposure in the work of these organisations, thereby enhancing their future career development, but also contribute to the reinforcement and sustainability of the HKSAR as a leading centre for international legal and dispute resolution services. At the same time, I wish they could also show a full picture about Hong Kong to the international community.

In the last secondment, for the very first time we have two practitioners from the private sector joining the HCCH and the UNIDROIT. I am glad to know that they benefited a lot from this unique experience. Let me share with you what Beryl and Amelia said about the programmes:

Miss Beryl Wu, Associate, Addleshaw Goddard (HK) LLP and secondee to HCCH: “This secondment is a once-in-a-life time opportunity for me. Not only can I personally witness and participate in the Working Group meetings of international conventions and the CGAP meeting, but also understand more about the work of the HCCH and how international conventions are negotiated and drafted. Thanks to the secondment program, I have also made new friends from different backgrounds and cultures in the HCCH.”

Miss Amelia Lo, Associate, Li & Partners and secondee to UNIDROIT: “I am really honoured to be selected for this unique opportunity to learn more about international law and work in an international organisation. Such an opportunity is both invaluable and meaningful. It is also a great opportunity for personal growth and allows one to contribute back to society.”

Successful applicants will spend about six to 12 months at the HCCH in The Hague or the UNIDROIT in Rome, as the case may be. With contributions from the HKSAR Government, successful applicants from the private sector will receive a monthly allowance from the relevant international organization. For those who are interested in the programmes, please visit our dedicated webpage for further details and application procedures.

April 11, 2022