32nd LAWASIA Conference 2019 in Hong Kong

13 November 2019

The 32nd LAWASIA Conference 2019: Harmonisation through Synergy was held in Hong Kong from 5 – 8 November 2019

1. Introduction

Chooi Jing Yen was one of the recipients of the Law Society’s sponsorship for young lawyers to attend overseas conferences*. He attended the 32nd LAWASIA Conference 2019: Harmonisation through Synergy that was held in Hong Kong from 5 – 8 November 2019.

Opening at LawAsia Hong Kong
Opening Ceremony at the Conference

Despite the uncertainties and worries about the recent protests in Hong Kong SAR, the Conference saw more than 100 eminent speakers including bar leaders, jurists, professional organisations and legal professionals from across the Asia Pacific and 600 participants from over 30 countries, with half of the attendees flew in to Hong Kong.

By the time the conference was to begin, large-scale protests had been ongoing for 21 consecutive weekends, and Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued an advisory advising Singaporeans to defer non-essential travel to Hong Kong.

2. Speakers at the Conference

The 32nd LawAsia Conference was subtitled “Harmonisation through Synergy”, but the emphasis on Rule of Law remained as strong as it was in previous editions of this flagship LawAsia event.

The Conference was graced by eminent speakers including The Honourable Geoffrey Ma Tao-li GBM, Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, The Honourable Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah GBS SC JP, Secretary for Justice, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Simon Davis, President of The Law Society of England and Wales, Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor, President of The Malaysian Bar, among others.

The Honourable Geoffrey Ma Tao-li , CJ of Hong Kong
The Honourable Geoffrey Ma Tao-li GBM addressing the delegates at the Conference

The conference was held across several different venues on Hong Kong Island, providing an excellent opportunity to get to know the city. The opening ceremony was at the JW Marriott, with plenary sessions at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Lunches were at the nearby Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel, with the welcome reception at the Happy Valley Racecourse and the gala dinner at The Grand Stage in Des Voeux Road Central.

3. The Conference’s Objective

This annual flagship Conference was designed to facilitate the discussion of regional developments in law, including such issues as judicial practice, legal education, cross border business and investment law and cross-border dispute resolution.

Jing Yen at LawAsia
Jing Yen (third from left) with other delegates

Chooi Jing Yen attended on a partial sponsorship awarded by The Law Society of Singapore. As part of the sponsorship, he must submit a paper on the conference that he attended. The paper titled “LawAsia Conference 2019: Harmonisation through Synergy” was featured in the January 2020 edition here.