4th seminar of judges of cross-Straits, HK and Macao opens
The head of China’s top court attended a high-level judicial seminar on Sept 14 in Hong Kong and made a speech at the opening ceremony.
Zhou Qiang, president of the China Association of Judges and president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) of China, said the gathering - the “Fourth Seminar of Senior Judges of Cross-Strait and Hong Kong and Macao" - will further promote judicial cooperation and contribute to social fairness and justice.
Themed "Challenges and Opportunities for the Courts in the 21st Century", the seminar offers a great platform for experience exchanges and mutual understanding, he said.
Zhou said better development of the judicial cause and the rule of law against the backdrop of world multipolarization and deepening economic globalization are common challenges facing judicial staff from across the straits.
People’s need for high-quality and highly-efficient legal service is on the rise, said Zhou.
He described the court experience in the Chinese mainland, emphasizing judicial reform and the coming together of information technology and the judiciary.
Open court platforms and data management and service platforms have been set up, added Zhou. Smart courts are assuming an initial shape.
The Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong, Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, welcomed all the delegates, saying that optimizing the judicial system through exchanges and experience sharing is very important.
He said that the world and society are becoming more complicated as populations grow, increasing economic activity and giving rise to a surging number of complex legal disputes.
New challenges to the legal system and courts are obvious, he added.
To provide better legal services for the people, he called for improving working procedures and case management in addition to the employment of new technology models.
The president of the Court of Final Appeal of Macao, Mr Sam Hou-fai, said that the pace of economic development and the number of cases have risen concurrently in Macao since its return to the motherland. Judges are facing unprecedented challenges.
In the meantime, new technology, the internet and new media are bringing new opportunities to a modern, transparent and efficient judiciary, he added.
Macao courts have carried out explorations in staff management, judicial organization reform and legal procedural reform, he noted.
Tsay Ching-you, chairman of the Chinese Society of Law of Taiwan, said the seminar has been fruitful over the past few years. It has helped all sides to learn from each other and strengthen their cooperation.
During the seminar, delegate members delivered thematic reports and discussed four topics, namely "Organization and Human Resources of the Courts", "Alternative Dispute Resolution and Enhancements to Judicial Proceedings", "Modernization of Information Technology and its Application" and "The Direction and Way Forward for Future Judicial Cooperation and Exchanges between the mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao".
The seminar serves as a regular exchange forum of the judicial sectors of Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. It has been held every two years since 2011.
The last three seminars were held in Nanjing of Jiangsu province, Hsinchu in Taiwan and Macao.