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Inauguration of the Academy

Speech by the Chief Justice
at the Inauguration Dinner of Hong Kong Academy of Law
on 23 October 2008

Secretary for Justice, Justice Kennedy, President Huang, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I am honoured to be invited to this inauguration ceremony of the Hong Kong Academy of Law.  

The Academy is a new institute dedicated to legal education and training.  It will play a pivotal role in enhancing the Law Society’s efforts in this very important area of work.

One major aim of the Academy is to provide quality programmes for the continuing legal education of solicitors.  In a world of rapid change, it is most important that the legal profession should keep abreast of developments in law and practice and procedure.  This is essential for the maintenance of proper professional standards in order to meet the community’s growing expectations of the profession.  The Law Society has made significant progress in this area since it launched its mandatory Continuing Professional Development Scheme in 1998.  The Academy will provide a new focal point for future training courses and events.  I am particularly glad to note that the Academy will be conducting free training courses on the Civil Justice Reform for practitioners to prepare them for its implementation and that it is targeting sufficient places for 50% of Hong Kong’s practicing solicitors.

The Academy also aims to enhance public interest in the learning of law, raise public awareness of the rule of law and provide guidance to law students.  I firmly believe that the more the community and in particular, young people, understand legal issues, the better it will be for the operation of the legal system and the maintenance of the rule of law. The Academy will play an important role in promoting the understanding of legal issues and in fostering their informed discussion.  The education of the public and the exchange of ideas will contribute to maintaining the vitality of our legal system and to strengthening the rule of law.

The Academy is an inspired project.  The Law Society led by its President Mr Lester Huang who is the Chairman of the Academy is to be congratulated for planning and implementing this important initiative.  I wish the Academy every success in its future endeavours.

Thank you.

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