Secretary for Justice visits France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - 11-17 April 2019

Hong Kong's Secretary for Justice, Ms Teresa Cheng SC, visited France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria to promote Hong Kong as deal-making and dispute resolution services centre. 

Ms Cheng told her interlocutors that the principle of "one country, two systems", has been fully and successfully implemented and the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary have been upheld since Hong Kong's return to the Motherland. 
She told them Hong Kong has rich experience in deal-making and dispute resolution for China-related businesses and it is the Hong Kong Government's long standing policy to support and strengthen Hong Kong's position as a leading hub for deal making and dispute resolution.


    Upon her arrival in Paris on 11 April 2019, Ms Cheng met with members of the National Assembly of France to give them an introduction of the work of the Department of Justice and Hong Kong’s legal and dispute resolution services.

     Ms Cheng also attended a business luncheon organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in which she delivered a speech on the safeguards and opportunities offered by Hong Kong legal services in the Belt and Road Region and the Greater Bay Area. She outlined the significance brought by the two development plans and highlighted the features of "one country, two systems" as well as Hong Kong's laws in relation to deal-making and dispute resolution services.

     In the afternoon, Ms Cheng attended a conference, co-organised by the Department of Justice and Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, on the promotion of Hong Kong's roles as deal maker and dispute resolver.  Speaking at the conference, she stressed that Hong Kong has always been a strategic gateway for foreign businesses to tap in the Mainland Chinese market. On the other hand, Hong Kong is the springboard for Mainland companies, including the Chinese State-owned entities, to "go global". 
Ms Cheng was glad to learn that the panel of experts in the conference acknowledged that the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region signed on 2 April 2019 has strengthened Hong Kong as a hub of legal and dispute resolution services centre.

     Following the conference, Ms Cheng joined a cocktail reception hosted by Invest Hong Kong to meet with the legal and business sectors in Paris.  She also met with leading figures in various sectors to explore opportunities of collaboration on the legal side.

    On 15 April Ms Cheng visited the International Chamber in the Commercial Courts of Paris to meet with its president, Mr Paul-Louis Netter, and gave an introduction of the laws and legal system of Hong Kong. The Commercial Court of Paris, seated by judges from business community based on their commercial expertise, specialises in handling complex commercial disputes.

     She then arrived at the Cour de Cassation to have meetings with Prosecutor General, Mr Francois Molins, and Judge Dominique Hascher respectively.  She also gave them a brief account of the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the relevant provisions of Third Party Funding of Arbitration. Established in 1790, the Cour de Cassation is the highest court in the French judiciary to ensure that all the laws are interpreted in the same way throughout the nation.

     Afterwards, Ms Cheng called on the Minister for Justice of France, Ms Nicole Belloubet, to explore the signing of a memorandum of cooperation to strengthen collaboration on issues relating to deal making and dispute resolution services.


   In Luxembourg on 12 April, Ms Cheng visited the European Union Court of Justice, meeting with Judge Christopher Vajda, Judge Bay Larsen and Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston

The Hague

    On 16 April the Secretary for Justice commenced her visit to The Hague by calling on Judge Peter Tomka of the International Court of Justice.  During the meeting, Ms Cheng introduced the legal system in Hong Kong and the work of the Department of Justice, adding that the "one country, two systems" principle has been fully and successfully implemented and the rule of law has been upheld since Hong Kong's return to the Motherland.  Judge Tomka was glad to note the judicial independence and sound legal system in Hong Kong as well as the development of Hong Kong as an international arbitration centre.

     Ms Cheng then proceeded to The Hague Academy of International Law where she met with the Secretary-General Professor Jean-Marc Thouvenin to exchange views on capacity building in international law and explore collaboration opportunities.

     In the afternoon, Ms Cheng visited The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).  She met with the Secretary General of HCCH, Dr Christophe Bernasconi, to exchange views on international legal co-operation and explore further opportunities of collaboration on the legal side through its Asia Pacific Regional Office in Hong Kong.  HCCH is a global inter-government organisation which develops multilateral legal instruments to respond to global needs.

     Ms Cheng also met with the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Mr Hugo Siblesz and the Executive Director of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, Ms Lise Bosman, before leaving for Vienna, the final leg of her European visit, on 17 April.

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