Hong Kong Lawyer

JANUARY 2018

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Ms. Heidi Chu, Secretary General 秘書長朱潔冰律師 Lost in Translation The circulation of Hong Kong Lawyer covers not only legal practitioners in Hong Kong, but also those around the world. The journal's bilingual content attracts readers from both the English and the Chinese speaking communities, including our counterparts in Mainland China, Taiwan and Macau (the "Region"). With the opening up of the legal service market in the Region, there are many opportunities for our legal profession to interact with Chinese-speaking lawyers. Most practitioners have excellent Chinese language skills and language proficiency is not an issue. Rather, the major issue arising from such interaction is the confusion and resulting misconception caused by the statutory Chinese translation of "barrister" as " 大律師" (big lawyer) in the Legal Practitioners Ordinance. Unlike the other jurisdictions in the Region, Hong Kong maintains a split legal profession. Lawyers are divided into two distinct branches - solicitors and barristers. A closer look at the qualification route and the nature and scope of work of each branch will explain how much has been lost in the translation. First, the academic requirements for intending solicitors and barristers in Hong Kong are the same. Both are required to complete a qualifying law degree and the postgraduate certificate in laws course before entering into the vocational training stage. Second, the vocational training period for intending barristers is shorter than that required of a trainee solicitor. To be admitted as a solicitor, one must complete two years of training in a law firm, whereas for admission as a barrister, one must complete six months of pupilage in a barrister's chambers. Solicitors engage in a wide range of legal services relating to capital markets, banking and finance, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and construction, family and probate, dispute resolution and many other areas. One important distinction in the past was that barristers had higher rights of audience, i.e. the Court of First Instance and above, while solicitors did not have such rights. However, since 2012, with the amendments to the law and the introduction of an assessment regime, eligible solicitors are able to gain rights of audience through either the exemption or the assessment route and appear as Solicitor Advocates before the High Court and the Court of Final Appeal. With solicitors gaining higher rights of audience, solicitors are able to take up the advocacy work that was previously reserved for barristers. Apart from advocacy in court, solicitors have also been actively involved in 譯求逮意 《香港律師》的讀者不僅包括香港的法律從業人 員,亦有世界各地的法律界人士。期刊的雙語內容 吸引了包括中國大陸、台灣和澳門(「地區」)在內 的中、英語同業閱讀。 隨著地區內的法律服務市場開放,法律界與說中 文的律師互動的機會良多。大多數同業中文水平優 秀,語言能力不是問題。相反,互動產生的主要問 題,是《法律執業者條例》中barrister一詞的法定 中文翻譯「大律師」造成混淆及誤解。 與區內其他司法管轄區不同,香港的法律專業分 流。律師分為律師和大律師兩種。仔細看兩個分流 取得資格的過程及工作性質和範圍,就可看出詞不 達意。 首先,香港對律師和大律師的學歷要求是一樣的, 進入在職訓練之前,兩者都必須完成合資格的法律 學位和法學專業證書。其次,大律師的在職訓練期 比實習律師短。在獲取資格前,準律師必須在律師 行完成兩年的實習期;而成為大律師前,準大律師 必須在大律師事務所完成六個月的實習期。 律師從事資本市場、銀行金融、併購、房地產建 築、家庭和遺囑、爭議解決等多方面的法律服務。 過去一個重要區別,是大律師在較高級法院(即原 訟法庭及以上)有出庭發言權,而律師卻沒有這個權 利。然而,自2012年起,隨著法律的修訂和引入 評估制度,符合條件的律師可以通過豁免或評估獲 得出庭發言權,在高等法院和終審法院以訟辯律師 的身份出庭。 律師獲得較高級法院的出庭發言權, 可以擔任以往大律師專有的訟辯工作。 除了出庭訟辯外,律師多年來也積極參與仲裁工 作。許多律師專門從事某些法律領域,有些專攻的 FROM THE SECRETARIAT 律 師 會 秘 書處 資 訊 14 www.hk-lawyer.org •  January 2018

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