2nd ASLI Conference

Meeting the Challenges of Law in Asia – Second Asian Law Institute (ASLI) Conference

After the hugely successful Inaugural Conference of the Asian Law Institute (ASLI) in Singapore last year on the NUS campus, the second ASLI Conference hosted by the Faculty of Law of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on 26th & 27th May 2005 continued to attract good response as scholars of Asian Law gathered to explore "The Challenge of Law in Asia: from Globalization to Regionalization?" Being one of the anchor activities of ASLI, the conference provided a platform for scholars to share on the legal developments of relevance to Asia.

This year saw a total of 185 participants from twenty-four countries and close to seventy law schools and research institutes from Asia, Europe, North America and Australasia. In all, twelve panel titles that included Environmental Protection, Human Rights and Social Impact, Operationalizing WTO System in the Region, International Business Law and Practice, Challenges of International Law, The FTA Effect, Bankruptcy Law and Post 1997 Scenario, Competition and Consumer Protection, Corporate Governance, Intellectual Property IT/E Commerce and the Law, Commercial Law and Building Inter-State Taxation Regime and Overcoming Transnational Crime provided a wide scope of discussions. There were also three Open Forums to accommodate interests in other legal issues. A total of 110 papers were presented.

The two-day conference was opened by Dean Tithiphan Chuerboonchai of Chulalongkorn University, followed by a speech from President He Qinhua, East China University of Politics and Law & Chairman of the ASLI Board of Governors. Deputy Prime Minister of the Royal Thai Government, H.E. Dr. Wissanu Kreangam, delivered the keynote speech. Deputy Prime. H.E. Kreangam also lectures at the Chulalongkorn University. Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn of Chulalongkorn University and Chairman of the second ASLI Conference next gave a general briefing on the conference and panels before inviting all twelve ASLI Board of Governors on stage to brief the participants on "Key Legal Developments in 2004 in Asia". Participants gained an insight of the key developments of law in Asia as each member of the Board of Governors gave a succinct account.

For the first time, an afternoon networking session was set up after the plenary session ended on the second day, in response to some participants’ feedback last year to allow further discussions on partnerships for exchange programmes and ideas. It also gave rise to an opportunity for non-ASLI members and non-Asian institutions to mingle with the ASLI members to promote understanding and cooperation. Many participants at the networking session also enquired on the possibility of joining ASLI. Assoc Prof Gary Bell, Director of ASLI, thanked the enquirers for showing enthusiasm and support for ASLI. While he reiterated that the Board of Governors would have to deliberate this matter further, he assured that the ASLI Conference will always welcome participants from all countries, and not Asia, or members of ASLI alone.

At the ASLI Board of Governors’ meeting, held a day before the conference, the new Chairman and Vice-Chairman were elected. They are Professor Hikmahanto Juwana from Universitas Indonesia and Professor Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmod of International Islamic University of Malaysia respectively. The Board of Governors also expressed its appreciation to the outgoing Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board, President He Qinhua, East China University of Politics and Law and Professor Hikmahanto Juwana from Universitas Indonesia. The Governors welcomed the newest member of the grouping, the University of Hong Kong. In total, there are now twelve founding member universities of ASLI. Among many issues discussed, the Governors agreed to expand the ASLI fellowship scheme further to include a limited number of non-ASLI fellows, to mount an ASLI logo competition and to begin work on an ASLI journal.

The next ASLI conference will be convened in Shanghai and hosted by the East China University of Politics and Law (ECUPL) in Shanghai on 25th and 26th May 2006. It is envisaged that several wide-ranging sub-themes consistent with the general theme of law in a developing Asia will be examined.

Published articles
Damien P. Horigan, Territorial Claims by Divided
Nations: Applying the Irish Experience to Korea, 10
Gonz. J. Int'l. L. 227 (2006).
Websites: http://www.gonzagajil.org/pdf/volume10/Horigan/

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