The 14th Five-Year Plan of the Central People’s Government of China is a plan for national economic and social development from 2021 to 2025. The Plan emphasises the importance of maintaining the prosperity, stability and competitiveness of Hong Kong in the long run, and gives directions for the growth of Hong Kong in the coming years under the “One Country, Two Systems” system.
The Plan has started since last year. We highlight a few aspects in this article with emphasis on the legal profession.
There is now a Legal Professional Examination for Hong Kong lawyers to take which enables them to practice in the Greater Bay Area of Mainland China. There is now also more liberalised measures on the arrangement concerning mutual enforcement of Arbitral Awards between Mainland China and Hong Kong. These new measures will lead to more growth of Hong Kong’s legal and dispute resolution services in the Greater Bay Area.
A Greater Bay Area Mediation Platform has also been set up to facilitate the wider use of mediation within the Greater Bay Area which Hong Kong lawyers can participate in and contribute to.
A mechanism on corporate insolvency is being explored in Mainland China with a view of strengthening Hong Kong as a centre for insolvency and debt-restructuring in the region.
Young Hong Kong lawyers who would like to acquire the experience of working in Mainland China will be supported by the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme introduced by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which Scheme also supports young Hong Kong citizens to work in Mainland China in other fields.
With the passing of a new law on the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgements in matrimonial and family cases, parties to a judgement in these cases no longer have to sue separately in a Mainland China court and in a Hong Kong court. So costs, time and emotional distress are all reduced.
With law and order being re-established in Hong Kong after the introduction of national security legislation, Hong Kong looks forwards to capitalise on its unique position under the “One Country, Two Systems” foundation to continue its growth as an international legal centre under the 14th Five-Year Plan.
Ms. Jean Wong
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