Legal Week promotes rule of law

November 7, 2022

Chief Executive John Lee

The summit marks the opening of Hong Kong Legal Week 2022, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. As we celebrate our return to the motherland, we also commemorate the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle for the past 25 years.


Under the “one country, two systems” principle, Hong Kong has continued to thrive as the gateway connecting our country to the rest of the world. As stated by President Xi Jinping in his important speech on July 1, we must adhere to this principle in the long run. President Xi has also made it crystal clear that the central government fully supports Hong Kong to maintain the common law system.


Our legal system is underpinned by the rule of law, which is a core value of our society and the cornerstone of Hong Kong’s success. The Basic Law not only guarantees the continuation of the common law system, but also ensures the judiciary’s independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication.


Also enshrined in the Basic Law is the protection of various fundamental rights and freedoms in accordance with the law, manifesting the strong foundation of the rule of law tradition. Our strong rule of law tradition will continue to flourish.


I am pleased to share with you a great development in this field. With the strong support of our country, the International Organization for Mediation Preparatory Office will be established in Hong Kong. The International Organization for Mediation will be an international inter-governmental organisation that will provide friendly, flexible, economical and efficient mediation services for international disputes. Next year, the office will commence and organise the negotiation of the relevant international convention and the preparatory work to establish the organisation.


The great decision to choose the Hong Kong SAR as the location for this preparatory office signifies a vote of confidence by the relevant states in placing their trust in Hong Kong’s strength as an international legal and dispute resolution services centre in the Asia Pacific region.


As mentioned in my Policy Address delivered last month, Hong Kong Legal Week 2022 is the starting point to showcase to the international community two important aspects of our legal system: first, the strengths of Hong Kong’s rule of law, and second, our diversified legal and dispute resolution services under this system.


Throughout this week, we are privileged to be joined by eminent experts, practitioners, government officials, academics and professionals of different sectors, coming from around the globe.


Our distinguished speakers will share their insights on a wide spectrum of issues, including facilitating access to justice through international instruments and diversified dispute resolution mechanisms, lawtech developments relevant to the Belt & Road Initiative, and promoting the rule of law for sustainability, to name but a few.


Today’s summit, therefore, marks a very good start of our initiatives. I am honoured that the summit has gathered a prominent participation of guests and speakers from renowned international organisations and leading international experts of the relevant areas.


Your participation in Hong Kong Legal Week signifies your vote of confidence in Hong Kong, our rule of law and our strength under the principle of “one country, two systems”.


Last week, I welcomed top financiers around the globe in Hong Kong at our Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit. This week, we welcome distinguished legal professionals to Hong Kong Legal Week. Our message is clear: Hong Kong is onstage again! Our talent are ready to offer the world the best of their professional services, in commercial law, arbitration and intellectual property trading, as well as in finance, shipping and technology. Savour the chance to experience the smartest of Hong Kong while you are here!


Chief Executive John Lee gave this video speech at the Asia-Pacific Private International Law Summit on November 7.

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