Chief Executive John Lee hailed the rule of law in Hong Kong at the start of Legal Week on Monday, while stressing that the city is back on the international stage.
Delivering a speech via video link at the Asia-Pacific Private International Law Summit, Lee said the rule of law is a core value of society and a cornerstone of Hong Kong's success, adding that Legal Week will show the world the strengths of the city's rule of law.
"Your participation in the Hong Kong Legal Week signifies your vote of confidence in Hong Kong, our rule of law and our strength under the principle of One Country, Two Systems," he said.
"Last week, I welcomed top financiers around the globe in Hong Kong... This week, we welcome distinguished legal professionals to the Hong Kong Legal Week. Our message is clear - Hong Kong is onstage again. Our talents are ready to offer the world the best of their professional services," he said.
"Savour the chance to experience the smartest of Hong Kong while you are here."
The CE added that an office will be set up in the city to prepare for the establishment of
the International Organisation for Mediation - a new inter-governmental platform for dispute resolution.
He said the SAR's involvement shows there is international confidence in legal structures here.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the SAR, Liu Guangyuan, said support from the central government will help sharpen the SAR's edge in legal services, saying it has been a super-connector facilitating exchanges between different jurisdictions.
The Beijing official said the rule of law in Hong Kong has also consolidated the institutional foundation of One Country, Two Systems, and helped to restore order in the city.
"Hong Kong's transition from chaos to stability has once again proved that law-based governance is the most reliable way of governance. The rule of law has helped and will continue to help Hong Kong enjoy long-term prosperity and stability," he said at the same summit.
Liu said to safeguard the rule of law, the authority of the constitution and the Basic Law must be protected. He said Hong Kong must also continue to improve its legal system to keep the One Country, Two Systems principle thriving.