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PRESS RELEASES | JAN 06, 2016

HKU Law responds to the Law Society of Hong Kong’s proposed Common Entrance Examination

6 January 2016

We note the statement by the Law Society of Hong Kong on the Common Entrance Examination (CEE) issued on 6 January 2016. While the Law Society’s proposal of a CEE has been debated in the community, no consensus has yet been reached amongst the stakeholders. In April 2015, the Standing Committee on Legal Education and Training, a statutory body chaired by Justice Patrick Chan, commissioned a panel of international consultants, headed by Justice K.H. Woo, to conduct a comprehensive review of legal education in Hong Kong, including the introduction of a CEE. This review began in October 2015 and remains ongoing.

Thus we are surprised that the Law Society has decided to proceed with the CEE while the comprehensive review is still ongoing. We believe the Standing Committee, in which all stakeholders are represented, is the best forum in which to discuss the topic of the CEE after the consultants have reported on their review.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) has been a responsibility of universities since 1972, and thousands of solicitors and barristers have been trained by the PCLL programmes. The PCLL was reviewed and enhanced after the last comprehensive review of legal education in 2000/2001. Thus we are pleased to see that the Law Society recognizes the importance of the PCLL and believes that it should remain a requirement to entering the legal profession. It is also well noted that the Law Society will not be setting any particular form of exam for the PCLL. While we note that the Law Society may periodically review the prerequisites for taking the CEE, we believe any relaxation that allows taking the CEE without the PCLL will have serious implications for the system of legal education and entry into the legal profession.

While the Law Society’s statement states the purposes of the CEE, it does not provide justification for why the CEE is needed. We await to learn more about the reasons justifying the need for the CEE and the details of the proposal.

As always, we hope to discuss and work with all stakeholders, including the two professional bodies, in order to improve legal education and training in Hong Kong.

For media enquiries, please contact: Ms Scarlette Cheung, Faculty Development Officer, Faculty of Law (Tel: 3917 2919; Email: scarlettecheung@hku.hk)
Ms Trinni Choy, Assistant Director (Media), Communications & Public Affairs Office (Tel: 2859 2606 ; Email: pychoy@hku.hk)

 

香港大學法律學院回應香港律師會統一執業試

2016年1月6日

香港律師會2016年1月6日新聞稿中提及的統一執業試,雖已在社會討論了一段時間,但持 分者未有共識。2015年4月,由陳兆愷法官擔任主席的法律教育及培訓常設委員會(該委員 會為政府設立的法定組織),委託以胡國興法官為首的由國際專家組成的顧問小組,對本港 法律教育及培訓展開全面檢討,其中包括應否引入統一執業試,該檢討於2015年10月開 始,現仍在進行中。

故此,對於律師會在檢討進行期間議決推行統一執業試,本院深感驚訝。本院認為,由本港 法律界和法學教育界所有持分者的代表組成的法律教育及培訓常設委員會是最合適的平台, 在其委託的顧問小組的檢討報告日後出爐後,討論統一執業試這項議題。

自1972年起,本港大學已肩負教授法學專業證書課程及頒發該證書的責任,多年來,數以 千計的事務律師和大律師曾接受法學專業證書課程的訓練。上一次於2000/2001年進行的法 律教育和培訓全面檢討後,法學專業證書課程進行全面更新和優化,本院樂見律師會在其新 聞稿中確認受法學專業證書課程的重要性,並認定其繼續是進入法律專業的門檻之一;然 而,本院亦留意到律師會認為法學專業證書課程將來無須對學生進行考核。律師會表示將會 定期檢討參加統一執業試的條件或資格;本院認為,任何以統一執業試取代法學專業證書的 改動,將為法學教育制度及加入法律專業行列方面,帶來嚴重影響。

律師會的新聞稿雖然提及設立統一執業試的目的,卻未有詳述需要設立統一執業試的具體因 由,本院期待知悉有關原因和方案細節。

一如既往,本院期盼與所有持分者,包括本港法律界兩個專業團體,共商協力,令香港法律 教育和培訓精益求精。

傳媒查詢,請聯絡:

港大法律學院學院發展主任張頴詩小姐(電話:3917 2919 / 電郵scarlettecheung@hku.hk)
港大傳訊及公共事務處助理總監(傳媒)徐佩瑩小姐 (電話: 2859 2606 / 電郵pychoy@hku.hk)

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