33 senior judges from mainland enrolled in CityU’s law programme
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The Advanced Programme for Chinese Senior Judges offered by the School of Law at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has provided superior legal education for the decision-makers in mainland courts for four consecutive years. This semester 33 senior judges from 29 provinces in the mainland joined the programme, now in its 5th cohort.An opening ceremony on 4 May welcomed the latest batch of Chinese judges. The officiating guests included Professor Way Kuo, President of CityU; Mr Feng Wei, Director-General, Department of Law, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR; Professor Chen Haiguang, Vice-President, National Judges College; Mr Ji Jianjun, Deputy Director-General of Education, Science and Technology Department, Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR; Mr Sun Xiaofei, Third Secretary, Department of Treaties and Law, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the HKSAR; The Hon Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, President of Legislative Council; Mr Chu Zhinong, Honourary President/Committee Advisor, Hong Kong China Chamber of Commerce; Mr Wang Lixian, Director of China Legal Service (HK) Ltd; Mr Frederick Chan H.F., Honourable Secretary, Hong Kong Bar Association; Mrs Helen Lee, Principle Liaison Officer, Community Relations Department, ICAC; Mr Andrew Liao, Member of International Advisory Board, School of Law, CityU; Mr George Tam, Member of the International Advisory Board, School of Law, CityU, and Principal of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong; Professor Arthur Ellis, Provost of CityU; Professor Wang Guiguo, Dean of School of Law, CityU.
The programme acquaints participants with legal issues in common law jurisdictions such as the Basic Law; finance, business, intellectual property laws; and mediation and arbitration through intensive courses taught by mainland Chinese and Hong Kong legal experts as well as visits to Hong Kong’s judicial organs and other institutions. This semester the programme runs from 3 May to 17 May.
The number of law suits involving non-mainland companies in China rose last year as domestic opportunities attracted an increasing number of foreign investments, according to a top court. Figures showed that disputes involving companies from Hong Kong and Macau accounted for 60% of the total number. An optimised legal environment and qualified legal services in the mainland are needed to ensure a good investment environment and to protect the rights of investors.The Advanced Chinese Judges Programme, jointly provided by CityU’s School of Law and the National Judges College of the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China, facilitates the comprehension of different legal issues and consolidates the equities and benefits of different parties. The programme has been positively received by professional bodies both on the mainland and in Hong Kong.
Professor Kuo said: “CityU is well-positioned to provide professional education for our students, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary research. The Advanced Programme for Chinese Senior Judges exemplifies the idea of professional education and fosters knowledge exchanges among professionals, students and teachers.”
Professor Chen noted that the programme is one of the key collaborative projects between the National Judges College and CityU. He added: “The programme allows Chinese senior judges to comprehend the essence of the common law system, broaden their views and enhance their competency in adjudicational work. Until now, over 120 senior judges have graduated from this programme. We hope legal professionals in Hong Kong will benefit from this programme, too.”
Professor Wang said, “Education is crucial to everyone in society. Without the unconditional help from everyone present at the event and the supporters behind the scene, we cannot savour this hard-fought success. Thanks to the support of the legal profession on the mainland and in Hong Kong, the Chinese judges are given the privilege to exchange with their counterparts from different jurisdictions.”
Mr Xu Qingyu, President of Intermediate People’s Court of Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, and acting as the representative of the senior judges, said, “The programme provides an excellent platform for Chinese senior judges to exchange knowledge and resources with Hong Kong legal professionals. It also enlightens legal education in China and creates precious education resources for further exchange.”