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GBA rule of law action plan released

The Action Plan on the Construction of Rule of Law in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has been released, the Department of Justice (DoJ) announced today.   Secretary for Justice Paul Lam explained that the action plan has two intentions, namely to underpin the guiding principle of “Three Interfaces, Two Connects & One Greater Bay Area”, and strengthen collaboration with the legal and dispute resolution sectors and other stakeholders to effectively implement policy measures set out in the plan.   Through mechanisms, regulatory frameworks and talent – the “three interfaces” – the DoJ said it will promote hardware and software connectivity in constructing rule of law in the bay area, co-operation between the various cities according to their respective strengths, and collaboration between different legal systems, thereby eventually achieving the goal of “one Greater Bay Area”.   Deputy Secretary for Justice Cheung Kwok-kwan, who is also the leading Hong Kong

Deputy SJ promotes HK in Riyadh

Deputy Secretary for Justice Cheung Kwok-kwan is currently leading a Hong Kong delegation on a visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to participate in the inaugural Riyadh International Disputes Week (RIDW).

The objectives of the visit are to promote Hong Kong’s legal and dispute resolution services, strengthening its status as an international legal and dispute resolution services centre in the Asia-Pacific region, and to enhance co-operation between Hong Kong and Belt & Road markets.

This is the first time that the Department of Justice has led a delegation to participate in an international legal and dispute resolution event in the Middle East.

The RIDW brings together key players from the dispute resolution sector from more than 65 countries and regions to explore developments and opportunities in dispute resolution in the Middle East and promote collaboration and exchange.

Mr Cheung and his delegation yesterday attended a thematic event organised by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. The event attracted more than 150 registrants from the business and legal sectors in the Middle East and other regions. Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Chen Weiqing also attended and spoke at the event.

Speaking at the event, Mr Cheung stressed that Hong Kong enjoys strong support from Mainland China whilst also being closely connected to the world.

He said that besides being the only common law jurisdiction in China, Hong Kong is also a super connector, serving as an important bridge between China and Saudi Arabia, in addition to the rest of the world, and that this gives the city unparalleled advantages in offering legal and dispute resolution services.

Mr Cheung explained that Hong Kong has long been a renowned centre for international arbitration. He noted that the headquarters of the International Organization for Mediation, the world’s first inter-governmental legal body dedicated to settling international disputes by mediation, will be housed in Hong Kong, adding that this demonstrates the central government’s confidence in the city.

He also mentioned that the Department of Justice will take forward the establishment of the Hong Kong International Legal Talents Training Academy this year.

At a lunch as part of the event, Mr Cheung told attendees that the Arrangement on Reciprocal Recognition & Enforcement of Judgments in Civil & Commercial Matters by the Courts of the Mainland & of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is now in operation.

The arrangement aims to make cross-boundary enforcement of judgments more cost-effective and streamlined.

Today, Mr Cheung and the delegation attended the third International Conference & Exhibition organised by the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA). The event brought together senior officials and industry experts from various regions to discuss the development of dispute resolution in Saudi Arabia and around the world.

Attending RIDW events, Mr Cheung exchanged views Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Anna Joubin-Bret and Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration Marcin Czepelak.

During their stay in Riyadh, Mr Cheung and the delegation have also met Vice-Minister of Justice of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Najem bin Abdullah al-Zaid and representatives of the Saudi Bar Association.

Mr Cheung also visited the local office of an international law firm to gain a better understanding of the Middle East’s need for cross-jurisdictional legal services.

The Deputy Secretary for Justice also called on Chen Weiqing at a dinner gathering. He thanked Mr Chen for supporting Hong Kong’s promotion of its legal and dispute resolution services in the Middle East. Secretary for Innovation, Technology & Industry Prof Sun Dong, who was also visiting the Middle East on official duty, attended the dinner as well.

Mr Cheung and his delegation were due to attend a dinner event organised by the SCCA. They will return to Hong Kong tomorrow.

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