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First SAR Lawyer on Mainland

A Hong Kong woman became the first SAR lawyer admitted to a one-year internship on the Chinese mainland Monday when she was granted a trainee certificate by the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Justice.

The woman, identified as Lin Yueming in pingyin, is expected to be allowed to practice at the bar on the mainland a year after she finishes the internship in Shenzhen.

The Ministry of Justice last November approved residents of Hong Kong and Macao practicing at the bar on the mainland after passing the national judicial test from Jan. 1, 2004.

Lin, who passed the judicial qualification examination on the mainland in 1994, said she was excited at the new policy and submitted an application for an internship to the city's justice bureau at the end of last year.

According to China's legislation, lawyers are not allowed to practice until they finish a one-year internship in law firms.

Lin said Hong Kong lawyers had a high expectation of the mainland's legal profession. The number of Hong Kong lawyers registering for the annual national judicial qualification test has been increasing in recent years.

Shi Gang, vice director-general of Shenzhen's justice bureau, said the practice would boost exchanges between lawyers in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which would benefit residents seeking cross-border legal services.

(Shenzhen Daily February 11, 2004)

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