Macau Mission of APLA (20th July 2007)

With a view to explore the mainland legal environment, APLA had organised a student mission to Shanghai between 1st June and 7th June 2008. A total of 19 participants including six students from HKU and 10 students from CUHK had seized the chance to further their understanding on the recent trends of legal development in Mainland China. Mr. Liu Chin Yu, who is the vice-president of APLA, had been accompanying the mission as an adviser. APLA had recruited 16 new members in this mission, with 13 students from Hong Kong and 4 students from mainland.

The mission was warmly welcomed by the local representatives. There the Shanghai Finance University hosted two lectures for the mission members, namely ‘the introduction to the PRC political system’ and ‘the introduction to the PRC legal system’. The mission members had acquired basic understanding on PRC politics and legal system and recognised that it is a must to comprehend the current social and political system gradually and forge a new one that fits the country most. After a prompt discussion with local students, the mission members had been able to compare the two distinctive systems and to review the development of the Hong Kong legal system under the framework of ‘One Country Two System’.

In the visit to a local law firm named The Golden Triangle & Associates on 2nd June, the mission members was able to look into the daily practices of the local lawyers. Those members who are interested in pursuing a career in mainland promptly consulted the local lawyers about the skills to tackle the National law examination.

The mission was also arranged to attend the Shanghai 1st intermediate Court on 4th June, in which the court representative had led the mission to the court of first hearing, the juvenile court, the criminal court, the civil court and the court library, all of which had demonstrated the successful transformation of the mainland court system to cope with social and technological changes. Representative from the court also briefed the mission members the role of intermediate courts in the Chinese legal system. The chief judge of the court also shared his mission and vision of being the champion of justice.

In the discussion session, five senior prosecutors from the prosecution bureau were invited to share their work nature and the duty of being a mainland prosecutor. Since there is no separate prosecution bureau in Hong Kong, mission members were keen to know how the system functions in mainland China.

The mission also visited some sight spots in Shanghai, which is the prime financial centre in the country.

Upon the completion of the mission, the participants were exposed to a distinctive political culture and legal system. Mission members had recognised that the socialist legal system in mainland China does not necessarily contradict with the common law system in Hong Kong. The two systems may complement each other in the foreseeable future.

Local reception for the APLA Shanghai mission
Shanghai Mission in a local law firm
Shanghai mission visiting the Prosecution Bureau
In the court room
Mission members consulting the judge
Photo session
Mission leader presenting souvenirs to the judge
The main entrance of the court
The lecture organised by the Shanghai University of Finance
Sightseeing in Suzhou

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