Law students now studying and intending to qualify in Britain should be exempt from a new examination requirement to practise as barristers in Hong Kong, legislators say. Non-affiliated Dr Leong Che-hung, who represents doctors, said it was unfair to impose the requirement halfway through their studies. 'They went with the view that if they finish the Bar vocational course in the UK, they can come back and be called to the Bar,' Dr Leong said yesterday at a meeting of the committee discussing the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill. At present, the Legal Practitioners Ordinance allows those who have been admitted as barristers in Britain to practise in Hong Kong. Under the bill, law students will have two options when they graduate. They can either qualify in Britain and sit for examinations set by the Bar Council in Hong Kong, or they can return and attend the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws course. According to the Department of Justice, the amendment will create a level playing field for admission for lawyers trained elsewhere. Non-affiliated legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, the committee's chairwoman, said continuity in the qualification procedure must be taken into account so that no student would suffer. Alan Leong Kah-kit SC, vice-chairman of the Bar Association, said the changes were necessary so that graduates from all over the world would be treated on a par with each other. But he considered the exemptions unnecessary. 'I think they will only make things more complicated.'