The Ministry of Justice in Beijing Thursday certified 95 Hong Kong lawyers as pubic notaries, authorizing them to act as agents for legal affairs in mainland areas for Hong Kong residents and firms.
Among the lawyers, 53 were newly appointed public notaries, and the other 42 were re-certified after they had faithfully fulfilled their previous term.
The system, as a successful instance of China's "one country, two systems" policy, had attracted more professionals in recent years, and thus could serve as a good example for Hong Kong and mainland areas to improve legal cooperation, Vice-Premier Qian Qichen said.
He urged the public notaries to be faithful to the law and responsible to society and clients when discharging their duties in order to contribute more to the common prosperity of mainland areas and Hong Kong.
Minister of Justice Zhang Fusen said at the ceremony this morning that the public notary system had served as an important bridge between mainland areas and Hong Kong, which had different legal systems.
He said the Ministry of Justice would further improve the system to enable more professionals to participate and better protect the people's legitimate rights and interests.
The Ministry of Justice introduced the public notary system in 1981. To date more than 600,000 legal documents covering civil and economic legal affairs of Hong Kong residents and businesses have been handled by the public notaries.
(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2003)