GBA rule of law action plan released

GBA to form dispute resolution hub

Deputy Secretary for Justice Cheung Kwok-kwan today attended the fifth Greater Bay Area Legal Departments Joint Conference in Macau, where the legal departments of Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau reached a consensus on the joint development of a collaborative online dispute resolution platform.


The Department of Justice explained that the platform aims to integrate information and resources in relation to mediation and arbitration, in order to facilitate resource sharing for the benefit of the public and promote the use of mediation to resolve disputes.


Moreover, the hub is conducive to promoting the use of lawtech and contributing to the development of diversified dispute resolution mechanisms in the bay area, the department added.


At today’s conference, good progress was also made in advancing the “soft connectivity” of rules, systems and talent in Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau.


On mediation and arbitration, the three parties have conducted in-depth discussions on the respective formulation of mediator accreditation rules, the promotion of the establishment of panels of bay area mediators and arbitrators as well as the promotion and research of recognising and enforcing settlement agreements.


As regards training, conference participants agreed to set up a working group on nurturing bay area legal talent to study ways of enhancing collaboration on this front to fully capitalise on the bay area’s advantage of “one country, two systems and three jurisdictions”.


Noting that the Greater Bay Area has an important strategic position in the new development setting of the country, Mr Cheung stressed that a better interface of the legal systems and rules as well as a connection of talent, will help promote the rule of law development in the bay area while further facilitating Hong Kong’s integration into the country’s overall development.


Separately, he told conference attendees that the Department of Justice will set up a dedicated office and an expert group to take forward the policy initiative in the 2023Policy Address to establish the Hong Kong International Legal Talents Training Academy.


This is in support of the country’s work in advancing the rule of law in foreign-related affairs by leveraging Hong Kong’s bilingual common law system and international status, Mr Cheung added.