"Training Scheme in Common Law for Mainland Legal Officials" ("the Scheme")

  1. The Scheme was first implemented in 1999 to provide Mainland officials with the opportunity to study common law and to familiarise with the legal system in Hong Kong. Most participants came from ministries, offices and commissions of the Central Government but officials from the provincial or municipal governments with the requisite qualifications have also been included into the Scheme.
  2. Since 2005, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has been sponsoring about 10 Mainland officials each year to attend the Master in Common Law programme (MCL programme) at the University of Hong Kong under the Scheme.
  3. To be eligible for the MCL programme at the HKU, one should attain the requisite English proficiency level and hold a degree in law from a university (or comparable institution accepted for this purpose) in a non-common law jurisdiction or be admitted to the professional practice of law in a non-common law jurisdiction.
  4. After completion of the MCL programme, the participants would be attached to the DoJ, other government law departments and public organizations for about 10 weeks before returning to their home organs.
  5. The Scheme was further developed in 2008 wherein the DoJ made arrangements for about 10 Mainland officials each year to undertake the MCL 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.
  6. To be eligible for the Master in Common Law Programme at the Chinese University, a candidate should have attained the requisite English proficiency level and held:

    (a) a qualification to practise law in the jurisdiction of residence; or

    (b) a Bachelor of Laws degree (or degree of equivalent standing) in a non common law jurisdiction; or

    (c) a Bachelor's degree in a non-law subject with substantial law-related working experience.
  7. 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.
  8. By August 2012, 180 Mainland officials have completed the Scheme.

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Short term attachment programme

  1. 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.
  2. From 2005 onward, each year the DoJ will arrange a batch of Mainland officials (consisting of about 7 to 12) from various Justice Departments / Bureaux to come to Hong Kong for a two-week attachment. During the two 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.
  3. 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 2012, a total of 32 counsel have joined the exchange programme.
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