Ten Chinese lawyers have finished a three-month legal exchange as part of the 2010 Australia-China Legal Professional Development Program.
Program participants spent 12 weeks undertaking placements within large Australian law firms, corporations and government departments.
In its fourth year, the program is a joint initiative between the Law Council of Australia, the Attorney-General's International Legal Services Advisory Council, the All China Lawyers' Association and the Chinese Ministry of Justice. It is funded by AusAID's Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship Program.
According to the Law Council, a key objective of the program is to promote professional networks, goodwill and understanding between Australian and Chinese legal professionals, and to contribute to the growing legal relationship between the two countries.
Law Council President Glenn Ferguson said the program's success was indicative of the excellent relationship between the Australian and Chinese legal professions.
"The Law Council's relationship with the legal profession in China is strong - 2010 marks 25 years since the Law Council signed its first Memorandum of Understanding with the China Law Society," he said.
Feedback from program participants was also positive. "I learnt a great deal - well beyond my expectations," said Lawyer Liu Zijian, who spent three months working at Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Sydney. "The program was so well organised and the firms and organisations involved were so caring, both personally and professionally. I would recommend it to other Chinese lawyers, particularly young lawyers."
Commonwealth Attorney-General Robert McClelland officially farewelled the participants at the Law Council in Canberra and congratulated them on their completion of the program.