Hague Conference On International Private Law To Maintain Office In HK
HONG KONG – The Hague Conference on International Private Law, a body that establishes common legal ground in civil and commercial proceedings across the globe, said the Chinese territory remains suitable for its Asia Pacific office, according to a recent report from the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
The body’s Secretary General Christophe Bernasconi said Hong Kong’s increasing role as a global legal hub will increase their organisation’s exposure.
However, he spoke of long-term plans to reduce the reliance of the body’s Hong Kong office on funds given by local and mainland Chinese governments.
The office, which is currently situated in the French Mission Building in Central that previously housed the Court of Final Appeal, is staffed by Zhao Yun, a legal scholar from the University of Hong Kong, in addition to two employees from the Hong Kong Department of Justice and China’s Foreign Ministry Department. They work there on a part-time basis.
Bernasconi underscored that the attempt to make the local office more financially independent was not due to geopolitics. Rather, the body hoped that diversification of funding sources for the Hong Kong office would result in a broader representation of the Asia Pacific region in the staffing of the office.
Notably, the Swiss lawyer is among the 27 foreign guests who attended Legal Week, which is organised annually by Hong Kong’s Department of Justice. It is the latest in a series of high-profile events by which the authorities want to send a message to the rest of the world that Hong Kong has re-opened.
One of the topics at the event is Hong Kong’s future as a global hub for legal dispute resolution, a status Beijing wants to achieve in its latest five-year blueprint for the Chinese territory.