Congratulations to Professor Yun Zhao on his appointment as the Representative of the Asia Pacific Regional Office of the Hague Conference on Private International Law! The Faculty of Law's KE Unit is honoured to have the opportunity to interview Professor Zhao on his new role and the challenges ahead for private international law co-operation.
1. What is the Hague Conference on Private International Law?
The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) is a global intergovernmental organization with the purpose to work for the progressive unification of the rules of private international law ranging from commercial law and banking law to international civil procedure and from child protection to matters of marriage and personal status. It also fosters international judicial and administrative cooperation in the area of private law, especially in the fields of protection of the family and children, of civil procedure and commercial law. It does so by developing multilateral treaties (HCCH Conventions) and other legal instruments.
2. When was the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific opened in Hong Kong and what is its mission?
The Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP), representing the HCCH in the Asia-Pacific Region, was opened in 2012 with the mission to act as a bridge to enhance communications and understanding between the Permanent Bureau of the HCCH in the Hague and States in the Asia-Pacific Region. The ROAP promotes the HCCH and the HCCH Conventions by conducting events, developing projects and a variety of activities across the Asia-Pacific Region. Our former colleague, Professor Anselmo Reyes was the representative of the ROAP from 2013 to 2017.
3. What are the duties of the Representative of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific?
The ROAP Representative shall promote the HCCH and its Conventions and build networks within the Asia Pacific Region; develop deeper understanding of the Hague Conventions and facilitate good practice and consistent implementation of these conventions; conduct or participate regional workshops, lectures, conferences, seminars or webinars; report on regional activities regularly to the Permanent Bureau.
4. As the new Representative of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, what do you hope to achieve in your term of appointment?
I hope to strengthen the existing HCCH networks throughout the Asia Pacific Region and encourage non-member States in the region to join the HCCH and the Hague Conventions, enhance contacts with government officials, academic institutions and professional bodies in the region, and provide appropriate technical assistance to Member States in the Region.
Thank you Professor Zhao and all the best to you in your new role.