2023 Guangdong-HK-Macao Greater Bay Area Legal Professional Exam successfully held, Secretary for Justice expresses hope for regularisation

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27th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) 2023 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Legal Professional Exam Held Successfully, Secretary for Justice.

The 2023 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Legal Professional Examination (GBA Examination) was successfully held in Hong Kong and Zhuhai on 27th May. The Secretary for Justice, Mr. Paul Lam, SC, expressed his gratitude for the strong support of the Central Government and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in the successful holding of the examination.

This marks the third successful GBA Examination, and Lam expressed hope that it can be converted from a pilot scheme to a regular examination. This would enable more Hong Kong legal practitioners to obtain practice qualification and provide legal services in the nine Mainland municipalities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) on specified civil and commercial matters to which Mainland laws apply.

Lam highlighted the importance of lawyers with dual qualifications who can cooperate with their Mainland counterparts and share experiences in resolving cross-jurisdictional legal issues that arise in practice. This is important for accelerating the nurture of talent in international legal affairs in the GBA, deepening the alignment and harmonisation of rules and mechanisms in civil and commercial matters, and facilitating the integration of Hong Kong legal practitioners into national development.

The GBA Examination was originally established as a pilot scheme to test the feasibility of allowing Hong Kong legal practitioners to provide legal services in the Mainland. The success of the pilot scheme has led to calls for its regularisation, and Lam’s comments reflect a desire for continued cooperation and integration between Hong Kong and the Mainland in legal affairs.

The examination venue was set up in Hong Kong for the first and second GBA Examinations due to the pandemic, and was again set up in Hong Kong for the third GBA Examination to facilitate Hong Kong candidates. According to a memorandum of understanding signed by the MoJ and the Department of Justice (DoJ) in 2021, the DoJ co-ordinates with the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) in handling examination-related work in Hong Kong. The DoJ expressed its gratitude for the HKEAA’s efforts in ensuring the successful holding of the GBA Examination in Hong Kong.

The GBA Examination is an important step towards greater integration between Hong Kong and the Mainland in legal affairs. It provides an opportunity for Hong Kong legal practitioners to obtain practice qualification in Mainland China, which is important for expanding their professional horizons and enhancing their competitiveness in the global market. It also allows for closer cooperation and exchange between legal practitioners in Hong Kong and the Mainland, which can help to resolve cross-jurisdictional legal issues and promote the harmonisation of rules and mechanisms in civil and commercial matters.