"Training Scheme in Common Law for Mainland Legal Officials" ("the Scheme")
- The Scheme was first implemented in 1999 to provide Mainland officials with the opportunity to study common law and to get familiarised with the legal system in Hong Kong. Participants include officials from ministries, offices and commissions of the Central Government as well as officials from the provincial or municipal governments.
- Since 2005, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has been sponsoring about 10 Mainland officials each year to attend the Master of Common Law programme (MCL programme) at the University of Hong Kong under the Scheme.
- After completion of the MCL programme, the participants would undergo summer attachment to the DoJ, other government law departments and/or public organizations before returning to their home organs.
- The Scheme was further developed in 2008 wherein the DoJ made arrangements for about 10 Mainland officials each year to undertake the Master of Laws (LLM) in Common Law programme at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Officials attending this programme will also be placed in government organs or law firms for short term attachments after completion of the academic programme.
- The Mainland officials must meet the entry requirements of either the MCL programme or the LLM in Common Law programme set by the respective Universities in order to be eligible to participate in the Scheme.
- The Scheme will be of long-term benefit to the implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” and is welcome by the Mainland organs and officials concerned.
- As at August 2017, 258 Mainland officials have participated the Scheme.
Short term attachment programme
- Under the Co-operation Agreements entered into by the DoJ and the relevant Mainland justice authorities, both sides agree to provide training opportunities to legal officials of the other side to encourage officials to attain a better understanding of the respective legal systems of the place of attachment.
- From 2005 onward, the DoJ regularly arranges a batch of Mainland officials (consisting of about 6 to 12) from various Justice Departments / Bureaux to come to Hong Kong for a programme of about 2 weeks. The officials will be briefed on the roles and functions of the DoJ. Visits will be paid to other government departments and public organisations such as the Legal Aid Department, Correctional Services Department, ICAC, LegCo as well as the legal professional bodies for familiarization with their work. Up to September 2017, a total of 91 Mainland officials have joined this programme.
- Reciprocal arrangements have been made for DoJ counsel to be placed on a similar short term attachment to various Justice Departments / Bureaux for greater understanding of the Mainland legal system. Up to September 2017, a total of 42 DoJ counsel have joined this programme.