Explore our legal expertise in a wide variety of Asian jurisdictions, including China, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The Centre for Asian and Pacific Law is located within Sydney Law School.
The centre's members have legal expertise in a wide variety of Asian jurisdictions, including China, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia. The centre offers courses covering a wide variety of legal issues in these countries, including commercial law, investment, constitutional law, human rights, land law, tax, environmental law, labour law, customary law, Islamic law, law enforcement institutions, and dispute resolution.
Chinese law is taught intensively both in Sydney (in alternate years and to undergraduate and Juris Doctor students only) and in China at the Shanghai Winter School. Japanese law is taught intensively in Japan at the Kyoto and Tokyo Seminars, and Indonesian and Malaysian law is taught offshore at the Southeast Asia Field School.
The centre holds numerous seminars, workshops and conferences, and hosts visiting scholars from all over Asia.
As part of an Australian government consultation, and referring to several publications from other CAPLUS members too, Professor Luke Nottage has provided recommendations for improving the 2009 ASEAN Australia-NZ Free Trade Agreement (and potentially other FTAs) regarding trade in goods/services, investment, consumer and environmental protection. Read the recommendations.
Professor Nottage's application highlighted his 16 books in comparative and/or international law published since 1998, including several co-edited with Centre for Asian and Pacific Law associates, Professors Simon Butt and Vivienne Bath.
The IACL's other current full members from Australia are: Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC; Professor Jennifer Corrin, The University of Queensland; and Professor Danuta Mendelson, Deakin University.
Judges, academics, arbitrators, practitioners, and students from Australia, China, the UK, Netherlands, Austria, India, Switzerland and Macao gathered at the Australia-China Private International Law Forum to discuss challenges and solutions for cross-border dispute resolution and judicial assistance in Asia Pacific. The Forum was jointly organised by University of Sydney Law School, East China University of Political Science and Law, and China Society of Private International Law in Shanghai China on 17-18 July 2019.
Forty speakers discussed and debated cutting-edge issues related to new Hague Judgments Convention; judicial assistance, especially between China and Australia; jurisdiction, choice of law, and judgment recognition and enforcement; and arbitration. The Forum attracted about one hundred and ten attendants and wide media coverage in China.
Professor Vivienne Bath delivered a keynote speech titled ‘Red Chips and the Resolution of Disputes Involving Chinese and Offshore Group Companies’. She proposed more cooperation between courts in the Asia Pacific regions.
‘Courts should adopt wider scope of forum non conveniens, take account of and recognise decisions of other courts, assist with interim measures and consider advisory opinions from other courts on relevant legal issues,' said Professor Vivienne Bath.
Professor Bing Ling explored the potentials for parties to choose Chinese law as the governing law for international commercial contracts. He pointed out that choosing a proper law for contract is not isolated from deciding a convenient forum for arbitration or litigation.
‘Currently English law is the most popular choice for parties. Chinese Contract Law has been significantly improved. But China needs further reform to make Chinese law appealing for foreign parties to choose,’ said Professor Bing Ling
Associate Professor Jeanne Huang focused on whether Australia should ratify the 2019 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters. She compared the Convention with Australian common law and statutes. She concluded that not all Australian civil and commercial judgments can benefit from this Convention, but for those under its scope, the Convention can provide predictability to recognition and enforcement in other member states. She also suggested Australia should consider declarations regarding which countries the Convention, if ratified, should not be applied to.
More research and events
With the increase of economic exchanges between countries in Asia Pacific, courts and tribunals are more frequently called upon to address complex jurisdiction, choice of law, and enforcement issues in cross-border civil and commercial cases.
Another conference addressing cross-border civil and commercial legal issues will be jointly hosted by Sydney Law School and ECUPL in Sydney in 2020.
We hold seminars, conferences and workshops throughout the year.
Below is a list of some of our past events.
Transnational Litigation and China: Jurisdiction, Applicable Law and Judgments
21 November 2018
China is Australia's largest trading partner. Transnational litigations involving Chinese parties/factors are incredibly increasing. Our amazing panel explored the substantive and procedural litigation issues including:
To read more about the event and view the presentation slides, see the following link.
Foreign Investment in Brunei in the Context of China's Belt and Road Initiative
13 April 2018
Associate Professor Bruno Jetin (a French economist based at the Institute of Asian Studies at the University of Brunei Darussalam), gave a lunch-time seminar for CAPLUS providing a rare and fascinating insight into economic development in this oil-rich ASEAN micro-state. The presentation drew partly on a co-authored chapter by Assoc Prof Jetin on Brunei in International Investment Treaties and Arbitration in Asia, a book co-edited by CAPLUS associate director Prof Luke Nottage. Read more.
SCIL/CAPLUS Symposium: International Investment Arbitration Across Asia
16 February 2017
The symposium, sponsored also by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and Herbert Smith Freehills, brought together leading experts of international investment law from Southeast Asia, North Asia, India and Oceania. Read more.