Sat. Jan 16th, 2021

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng

The opening of Hong Kong Legal Week 2020 in conjunction with the launch of the Hong Kong Legal Hub and the Vision 2030 for Rule of Law on November 2 signified an important milestone in our work on enhancing Hong Kong’s status as an international legal hub for legal, deal-making and dispute resolution services, as well as consolidating the foundation of our rule of law.

The Hong Kong Legal Hub, comprising the former French Mission Building (FMB), certain space in the West Wing of former Central Government Offices (CGO) and part of Two Exchange Square, houses a number of renowned law-related organisations (LROs). The FMB is the centre for international law where offices of local, regional and international bodies are set up, facilitating easy and effective exchanges. Two Exchange Square, a linkage between the core of our city and the international airport, is a prime location for international dispute resolution institutions. Meanwhile, the backbone and very important part of the local and regional LROs are located in the West Wing of the former CGO. Together with the Department of Justice offices in the Main Wing, the East Wing and part of West Wing of the former CGO, the whole area forms an international legal hub at the heart of Hong Kong.

The Inaugural Rule of Law Congress was one of the flagship programmes of Hong Kong Legal Week 2020. Distinguished speakers shared their views on enhancing existing legal aid systems in pursuing access to justice for all. They also shared experience and addressed the need for ongoing capacity building to strengthen and enhance judges’ ability in discharging their judicial functions, for example, better use of technologies in court, in light of the difficulties brought by the pandemic.

Amid all the challenges in light of COVID-19, we were delighted to learn that the Sports Dispute Resolution Conference and the Mediate Conference were both well-received despite being held online. In fact, this arrangement allowed us to reach out to a greater audience in Hong Kong and other parts of the world, free from the limitations of physical space or geographical location.

During this week, we have been able to gather information on how to explore further setting up a dedicated scheme for sports dispute resolution in light of the conference on the subject.

The annual Hong Kong Mediation Lecture focused on investment mediation, a subject that the Department of Justice (DoJ) has been promoting. Next Monday, we will hold another hybrid online event with United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and Asian Academy of International Law: UNCITRAL Working Group III Virtual Pre-Intersessional Meeting on the Use of Mediation in Investor-State Dispute Settlement. If you have registered, you can watch the conference anywhere around the world with only an Internet connection.

I hope that Hong Kong Legal Week 2020 not only kept us abreast of the latest legal developments, but also provided us with a platform to explore collaboration. You are most welcome to review all the programmes at the dedicated webpage.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology and the numerous benefits that it could bring. In order to keep pace with global changes, the DoJ will continue to make the best use of technology to enhance the efficiency of our work.

At the same time, we will spare no effort in promoting lawtech in the legal, deal-making and dispute resolution sector. We are determined to capitalise on the opportunities brought by the development of our country, actively participate in the 14th Five-year Plan by building Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology hub, establishing a functional platform for the Belt & Road Initiative as well as taking part in the planning of the Greater Bay Area with a view to integrating into the overall development of our country.

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng wrote this article and posted it on her blog on November 7.

By Bureau