On the afternoon of 3 July 2017, CityU successfully held the Closing Ceremony for the 7th Master of Laws Programme for Chinese Judges. Officiating guests of the Ceremony included Prof. Huang Yongwei, President, National Judges College; Prof. Way Kuo, President and University Distinguished Professor, CityU; The Hon. Martin Liao Cheung-kong, Non-Official Member of Executive Council, The Government of the HKSAR; Mr. Wesley Wong SC, Solicitor General, Department of Justice, The Government of the HKSAR; Mr. Liu Chunhua, Deputy Director-General, Counsel, Department of Law, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR; Mr. Paul Lam SC, Chairman, The Hong Kong Bar Association; Mr. Thomas Shiu Tsung So, President, The Law Society of Hong Kong; Dr. Kennedy Wong BBS, LLD, DCL, JP, Managing Partner, Philip K H Wong, Kennedy Y H Wong & CO.; Mr. Du Mao, Chairman of the Board, China Legal Service (H.K.) Ltd.; Prof. Geraint Howells, Dean and Chair Professor of Commercial Law, School of Law, CityU; and Prof. Lin Feng, Director, Centre for Judicial Education and Research & Associate Dean, School of Law, CityU.
Prof. Geraint Howells delivered the welcoming speech at the Closing Ceremony. He recognised the judge students’ achievement in the past year of study and wished them every success after returning to their position in mainland courts.
Prof. Huang Yongwei said the 23 Chinese judge students are outstanding representatives of the young judges in Mainland China. The CityU LLM brings a strong advantage to their profile and prospects for their career.
Offering his congratulations to the graduands, Prof. Way Kuo urged them to exercise self-discipline in handling every case at work.
Mr. Wesley Wong said that from now on, the path lying ahead for them would forever be different, because what is expected of them is now different.
Mr. Liu Chunhua said it was not an easy decision for the 23 Chinese judges to return to the campus and study common law in an English environment. They have manifested the evolution of the rule of law in China and built up a positive image of mainland judges in Hong Kong.
In Mr. Paul Lam’s view, there are three reasons why the Chinese Judges Programmes are significant for both Hong Kong and the Mainland: first, they promote mutual trust and understanding in the two legal systems; second, in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative, training on common law for Chinese judges gives confidence to countries in common law jurisdiction to participate in the Initiative; third, Chinese judges play a very important role in promoting the rule of law and the judicial reform in China.
Mr. Thomas So shared his impression on the difference between Hong Kong’s judicial system and that of the Mainland. He noted that both systems are unique and there is a lot that we can share with each other. The Master of Laws Programme for Chinese Judges is successful in promoting and facilitating mutual trust and understanding in the two legal systems.
Dr. Kennedy Wong said the 23 Chinese judge students are among the best. Although the “One Country, Two System” policy has been successful in the past 20 years, there is still much work to do and more interactions between legal talents in the two systems will be vital.
Mr. Du Mao thought CityU’s high-quality legal education had become an important part of the legal training for judges in the Mainland.
Judge Liang Ying said the Programme had not only equipped her with a good understanding in the logic of common law system, but more importantly, the one-year study has given her insights in her career to pursue excellence.
Prof. Lin Feng wished the graduands could become a bridge between different legal systems through mutual understanding and rational communication and concluded the Ceremony with a vote of thanks.