Visits to the Ministry of Justice and the All China Lawyers Association affirmed the Bar Council’s and Law Society’s long-standing ties with these bodies. A memorandum of understanding which outlined the mutual commitment to continue collaborating on training and exchange projects for the benefit of lawyers from both jurisdictions was signed by the heads of all three professional bodies. A meeting with the Beijing Lawyer ’s Association produced useful ideas on how lawyers from both jurisdictions might better collaborate with one another. This appetite to engage and gain international experience with the Bar in particular was also evident from separate Bar Council meetings with two leading Chinese law firms, Grandall and Jun He.

Visits to the Supreme Court and the Legislative Affairs Committee of the National Peoples Congress and State Council gave the delegation an opportunity to learn more about the law making process in China, and discuss issues pertinent to the health of both countries’ justice systems, including the rule of law, balancing with interests of the individual with public interest, and use of illegally obtained evidence. A visit to CIETAC, China’s largest arbitration body, with about 250 arbitrators (including barristers) on its roll, dealt with recent developments in the Chinese arbitration market. The programme in Beijing finished with a discussion about recent legal developments with fifty LCTS alumni and a networking dinner.

The Bar Council delegation then travelled to Hong Kong where Simon Monty QC led an exchange of ideas on pupillage reform with the Hong Kong Bar Association which is undertaking a review of their own pupillage system. Simon was able to share the main conclusions and recommendations of the work of the BSB’s pupillage review working group and outline implementation plans. Later, Nicholas
Green QC led a seminar which focussed on the way the Bar Council is trying to make the new regulatory framework work for its members. Adrian Hughes QC outlined ideas for collaboration between the junior ends of both professions. The delegation also visited the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and met with a group of ten LCTS alumni from in and around Hong Kong.