In the coming months, many major international events have been lined up in Hong Kong for the legal profession. In particular, the week commencing 4 November has been designated as the Legal Week - the 3rd UNCITRAL Asia Pacific Judicial Summit 2019 on 4 November, the LAWASIA Conference (“Conference”) and the Chief Justices’ Conference from 6 to 8 November.
The Conference will be co-hosted by the Law Society of Hong Kong and LAWASIA. We are all very excited that the Conference will be returning to Hong Kong after 12 years since it was last held here in 2007. The Conference brings in participants from around the world and promotes to the international community not only our legal profession, but also the brand of Hong Kong as a world-renowned city.
Like any other large scale international events, the Conference was scheduled years ago to be held in Hong Kong in 2019. The Law Society has since put in much work in preparing for the Conference. The local Organising Committee comprises over 30 legal practitioners who volunteer their precious time and contribute their valuable expertise to perfecting every detail of the Conference. A rich programme covering a wide range of topical issues relevant to legal practice has been designed to ensure a fulfilling experience for everyone.
Going alongside the Conference once every two years will be a Chief Justices’ Conference (“CJ Conference”) at which Chief Justices from the jurisdictions in Asia Pacific will meet and discuss matters of common interest. We are very fortunate that the CJ Conference will be held alongside the Conference this year. Taking advantage of the Chief Justices’ visitations to Hong Kong, we have designated the plenary session of the Conference as a judicial session on the synergy on dispute resolution and harmonisation with modernisation. It will be moderated by The Hon T F Bathurst AC, the Chief Justice of New South Wales, and the Chief Justice of Singapore and the Chief Justice of New Zealand are among the speakers of the distinguished panel.
Apart from the thought provoking and intellectually challenging academic sessions, the Conference also offers excellent networking opportunities through a variety of social functions like the Welcome Reception and the Gala Dinner. The Welcome Reception will be at the Hong Kong Jockey Club where participants can enjoy a relaxing evening of horse racing coloured with, perhaps, the joy of winning. The highlight of the evening will be the LAWASIA Cup race. The Gala Dinner will be held at the Western Market, one of the oldest structures in Sheung Wan and a Hong Kong landmark. Its iconic red-brick architectural structure has now been revamped into a shopping complex and a restaurant with a nostalgic touch of an old Chinese style cabaret. It is a unique setting and our international participants are encouraged to put on their national dress for the function.
It has always been our policy to encourage members to gain more international exposure by participating actively in international events and to develop a more extensive professional network. With the Conference being held in Hong Kong, our practitioners can grasp the valuable opportunity to do so conveniently without having to travel overseas. The Law Society has therefore decided to sponsor up to 150 places for our solicitors, trainee solicitors and foreign lawyers to attend the Conference. Trainee solicitors and solicitors admitted for five years or less will be sponsored with 75 percent of the registration fee, meaning that the net registration fee payable for a full Conference pass for a non LAWASIA member (after deducting 75 percent sponsorship) is AUS$623. Solicitors admitted for more than five years, and registered foreign lawyers, will be sponsored with 60 percent of the registration fee and therefore the net registration fee for a full Conference pass for a non LAWASIA member is AUS$996. The full Conference is accredited with 14 CPD points in total.
Day passes are also available to allow those who cannot make time to attend the full 3-day Conference. Please visit the Conference website at https://lawasia2019.com for details of the programme and registration.
The recent public order events in Hong Kong may have dampened the interest of some people in going about their normal activities. To overcome any potential destabilising effect in society, it is important that we assert our freedom to carry on business as usual. There is no better way to demonstrate to the international community Hong Kong’s resilience and steadfast commitment to defend the rule of law than to successfully host a series of major international events notwithstanding these challenging times. Please show your support for the legal profession and for Hong Kong by actively participating in the Conference and other activities in the Legal Week.