Secretary for Justice Paul Lam Ting-kwok speaks at the opening of the Law Society of Hong Kong's 5th Belt and Road Conference: Metaverse and Money on the Belt and Road under Hong Kong Legal Week 2022 on Nov 10, 2022. (PHOTO/HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Hong Kong possesses distinct and unmatched advantages in legal and dispute resolution services to support the high-quality and innovative development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
SAR and central government officials made the remarks at the Law Society of Hong Kong’s 5th Belt and Road Conference under Hong Kong Legal Week on Thursday.
Hong Kong has a deep and diverse pool of legal and dispute resolution professionals, most of whom are multilingual, and with many of them legally qualified in multiple jurisdictions, said Secretary for Justice Paul Lam Ting-kwok
“Hong Kong enjoys a unique advantage as a jurisdiction outside the mainland (but) within the country where parties to arbitral proceedings would be able to apply to the mainland courts for interim measures,” Secretary for Justice Paul Lam Ting-kwok said.
“No doubt, the availability and enforceability of interim measures reinforce Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a choice of the seat of arbitration,” Lam said.
ALSO READ: International arbitration: Hong Kong shows the world its worth
Hong Kong also has a deep and diverse pool of legal and dispute resolution professionals, most of whom are multilingual, and with many of them legally qualified in multiple jurisdictions, Lam said.
Since 2015, Hong Kong has been continually ranked among the top five preferred seats for arbitration globally, while it was ranked the third most preferred seat for arbitration worldwide in the 2021 International Arbitration Survey released by Queen Mary University of London.
As part of the Department of Justice’s Hong Kong Legal Week 2022, the 5th Belt and Road Conference, had the theme “Metaverse and Money on the Belt and Road” and was held in-person and online.
Lam said a robust legal and regulatory framework is imperative for the healthy and sustainable development of these technologies in the BRI context, as emerging technologies, like the metaverse, blockchain and digital currencies, have a strong potential but are also associated with risks.
Lam described the “one country, two systems” principle as Hong Kong’s bedrock of success in the legal system, adding that Hong Kong has always received staunch support from the central government while also benefiting from a close connection with the global market.
READ MORE: Justice chief: HK to consolidate position as global legal hub
President Xi Jinping recently stressed that the central government fully supports Hong Kong’s preserving its common law system, and confirmed that the “one country, two systems” principle must be adhered to in the long run, Lam said.
“It is therefore clear that our common law legal system, as well as our highly regarded independent judiciary acclaimed by the international business community and foreign investors, will be continued in the long run,” he said.
Fang Jianming, deputy commissioner of the Foreign Ministry’s office in Hong Kong, said the BRI has made substantial achievements over the past years and will bring immense opportunities to digital and innovative applications.
He added that legal services are essential to the BRI, and Hong Kong should fully leverage its advantages under the “one country, two systems” principle and its common law system to seize the historic opportunities offered by national development strategies.