Thursday, September 7, 2017

Continuing Legal Education for Hong Kong Prosecutors

Department of Justice
Sept 2017, pp 79-81
Continuing legal education (CLE) is becoming a standard requirement for all who practise law in Hong Kong. Since 2003, the Law Society of Hong Kong has had a mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) scheme for all solicitors with practising certificates and trainee solicitors. The Hong Kong Judiciary established a Judicial Institute in 2013 “to enhance judicial skills and knowledge through the development of continuing and more structured judicial education” for all judges and judicial officers. For Hong Kong barristers, change is on the horizon, though pupil barristers have had an advanced legal education requirement since 2003. 
     In Wong Kam Kuen, Catherine v The Bar Council [2015] 4 HKLRD 367, the Court of Appeal noted that barristers in England and Wales and New South Wales, Australia have had compulsory CPD requirements since 2001 and 2005 respectively. The Court was critical of the absence of such requirement for Hong Kong barristers: “Remarkably, in Hong Kong, there is no such mandatory requirement for the Bar... Given the greater education and perception of the public as to their rights and expectations in litigation, it would be unfortunate if the Bar were to continue to ignore the tide of these events”2. In January 2017, the Hong Kong Bar Association commenced a two-and-a-half month consultation of members on the introduction of CPD. In the consultation paper, it was stated that the Bar Council was in favour of CPD and was minded (subject to the consultation outcome) to introduce a CPD trial period of two years before further review... Click here to read the full article.  Government press release available here.

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