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HK locals receive mainland credentials
By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-04 06:26

SHENZHEN: The first Hong Kong residents to pass the State Judicial Examination were awarded professional legal qualifications at an awards ceremony yesterday in Shenzhen.

The four successful candidates will gain legal practice certificates after a one-year internship in the Chinese mainland, required by the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA).

Of the 396 Hong Kong applicants who took part in the 2004 State Judicial Examination last September in Shenzhen, Andy Yan, Xiao Li, Wu Yang and Luo Zhicheng were the only people to pass the exam, a rate of 1 per cent, compared to the nationwide ratio of 11.22 per cent.

Twenty-nine-year-old Luo Zhi-cheng said the hardest part of the process for people from Hong Kong was getting to grips with the different testing methods and legal system of the mainland.

Luo, a former civil servant, said he was overjoyed with the result, and it was his dream to be one of the first Hong Kong residents to practice law on the mainland.

The four attributed their success to their familiarity with the mainland's testing system that came from studying in mainland universities.

Speaking at the ceremony, Hong Kong Secretary of Justice Elsie Leung said that with the implementation of CEPA, the increased understanding of the mainland's legal system and judicial examinations will help more Hong Kong residents pass the exam in the future.

Also, for the convenience of Hong Kong participants, the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Justice of Hong Kong are pushing for the 2005 State Judicial Examination to be held in Hong Kong, added Leung.

Leung said that rather than add to industry competition, Hong Kong residents would inject their legal know-how and work experience into the mainland's legal sector, further bettering legal services across the border.

Hong Kong legal professionals can enjoy wider and easier access to the mainland market, according to CEPA which was implemented in January 2004.

When asked about their career expectations, the four lawyers all expressed a desire to practice law on the mainland.

Andy Yan, who graduated as an economics major from Shanghai Jiaotong University, sees the exam as a turning point, a way to make a better living.

(China Daily 04/04/2005 page2)

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