• Journal of East Asia & International Law

Yijun Institute of International Law
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Aims to promote research and thinking of legal scholars and practitioners from both East Asia and another regions having its regional focus. The Journal is open to any international and comparative legal concerns and controversies regarding East Asian affairs
All aspects of international and comparative law applicable to East Asia will be covered by the scope of this Journal. In addition, significant developments relating to East Asia and international law will be dealt with. The Journal tries to bring those topics on the discussion table from an independent viewpoint of East Asia.
The inter-regional character of the Journal is ensured by its Editorial and International Advisory Board drawn from outstanding lawyers from the countries in this region as well as from its global network.

Latest documents

  • The US' Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Agreement: A Legal Analysis with Special Reference to the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

    The so-called Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action, is an agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as Germany and the EU to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. Praised as an historic diplomatic achievement that resolved a decade-long crisis, the 2015 agreement is distinctive in its comprehensive provisions and innovative solutions to various legal and technical issues. However, US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to withdraw the US from the agreement in May 2018 has put its future in peril. This paper attempts to analyze the legal aspects of the US’ decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement with special reference to the currently on-going US-North Korea deal for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In the course of this study, special attention is given to the lessons learned from the Iran nuclear agreement.

  • Does Thailand Fulfill the ASEAN Requirements for Foreign Direct Investment under Partial Liberalization in Electricity Industry?

    This paper explores Thailand’s partial liberalization of the electricity industry and to what extent is a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) allowed in the electricity sector. As Thailand is an ASEAN Member State, the paper aims to review whether the partial liberalization under the ESB model is consistent with the commitments of the ASEAN. The paper examines both the ACIA and the AFAS, and it finds that Thailand has no commitment under both agreements relevant to entry of a FDI in its electricity sector. However, Thailand already allows the entry of a FDI in the power generation business which is aligned with the principles of market access and National Treatment that fulfill the obligations under the ACIA and the AFAS in case Thailand will make any commitments in the future. It is noted that electricity transmissions and the distribution and supply businesses are still prohibited for both Thai and foreign investors.

  • China's Participation in the Global Ocean Governance Reform: Its Lessons and Future Approaches

    Global ocean governance is a historical product. In the course of development, the UNCLOS has established the contemporary global ocean governance system. The current system, however, has many defects, including ambiguity in rules and fragmentation in structure. Furthermore, some new challenges are ever-emerging in the system. But all these could be improved through the establishment of a UNCLOS review agency and an enactment of supplementary agreements. China has taken lessons from its participation in the development and reform of the system. This includes the creation of the identity of a developing country, being an active participant and promoter of change as opposed to being a passive recipient and follower inside the system. In its push for reforming global ocean governance, China should not only initiate the establishment of a "World Ocean Organization," but also enhance its agenda setting, drafting and contracting capabilities of international legislation.

  • From Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing to Transnational Organised Crime in Fishery from an Indonesian Perspective

    Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF) is a complex problem because IUUF perpetrators not only have fisheries management issues, but also commit other crimes. This phenomenon raises further academic analysis of crime in fisheries at domestic and international levels. Indonesia has experienced different events leading to addressing crimes related to fisheries, which initially came from IUUF practices. To achieve legal certainty, crimes in fisheries issues must be separated from IUUF because IUUF is a matter under the mandate of FAO and crime in fishery is under the mandate of UNODC. Many have mixed IUUF and crimes in fishery in one basket, making the matter confusing from legal and practical point of view. At the domestic level, there must be a regulatory framework recognizing the linkage between fisheries and criminal activities At the international level, meanwhile, there must be an international cooperation through existing frameworks such as Mutual Legal Assistance.

  • Rights of Migrant Workers under Malaysian Employment Law

    Labour migration is an important global issue that largely affects the labour market. Malaysia is among the popular destination countries for labour migration in Asia. The number of migrant workers that consist of documented and undocumented workers is increasing every year due to rapid economic development that captivates job seekers from undeveloped countries. In this regard, migrant workers frequently fall into the trap of unscrupulous employers who exploit them for their own interests. These employers do not pay their wages as promised and deny them their employment rights. This case is basically treated as ‘forced labour’ or ‘human trafficking’ by the Malaysian authority. This paper identifies the Malaysia’s legal framework of the employment of migrant workers. In addition, how to address the infringed rights of migrant workers is discussed in this paper. Although the framework deems comprehensive, it further recommends a stringent and fair law enforcement to combat exploitation towards migrant workers.

  • The Triple Intervention: A Forgotten Memory in the Discourse of the Nineteenth Century's International Law

    The 19th century’s international law distinguished civilized from non-civilized States resulting in any country desiring equal treatment was required to obtain recognition from those already deemed civilized. Japan was able to join the civilized world by presenting a civilized image of itself in the First Sino-Japanese War, which was depicted by Western legal scholars as a clash between barbarism and civilization. Neither Japanese nor Western scholars of international law, however, have touched on the issue of the Triple Intervention. This incident serves as a case study for re-evaluating the operation of Western countries’ international legal standards. The argument is, that these countries cloak their motives in legal language for self-aggrandizement, thereby demonstrating the ahistorical nature of the West’s rhetoric of civilization. Further, this incident taught Japan the lesson that international law is concerned not with morality but with power.

  • Historical and Strategic Concern over the US-China Trade War: Will They Be within the WTO?

    The trade war between the US and China in the Trump era has become a momentous event in the world economy. It is necessary to see how trade relations between them have played out within the WTO from a historical perspective. Since the Opium Wars, both economic and political concerns have changed the relationship between these two countries. The escalation from a trade conflict to trade war shows the rivalry between the US and China for hegemony in the twenty-first century’s regional and world politics. The economic, technological, and manufacturing competition that is a part of hegemonic rivalry is not totally new; this is borne out by the history of the US-China economic relations. The escalation of this ‘trade war’ now has spill-over effects on other countries, being beyond the normative framework of the WTO. There is an impasse in this ongoing saga, but the silver lining is that there will be a re-construction of the multilateral trading system.

  • Is the US Method of Challenging China's IP-related Practices Legally Tenable from an International Legal Perspective?

    The US initiated a Section 301 investigation against China in 2017. Such a unilateral investigation has run counter to the explicit commitments in the Statement of Administrative Action. Even the basically reasonable ‘four corners’ defense can neither apply nor justify this investigation. Consequently, especially based on the Panel’s additional emphasis, the conditional international legality confirmed by the Panel of DS152 case in the WTO should be untenable in this latest specific context. By reutilizing this globally aversive tool, the United States could possibly prove itself to be an unreliable partner and this would unavoidably incur severe reputational costs and other potential harms to itself. Furthermore, this might, to some degree, undermine or even undo the advances achieved in more than twenty years of international rule of law in world trade after the establishment of the WTO. All in all, only mutually beneficial solutions are most desirable, effective and sustainable for both China and the US.

  • Substantive or Jurisdictional? The Tokyo Charter and the Legality Challenge at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East

    The legacies of Tokyo Trial have been overlooked and questioned partly because prosecuting aggression was allegedly a violation of the principle of legality. This essay argues that the trial should not be overlooked for this reason because the legality debate at the trial provides insights into the interplay between the principle of legality and sources of international criminal law. Besides the majority judgment, some minority opinions could shed light on the nature of the Tokyo Charter by distinguishing between jurisdiction and applicable law and link the issue to the legality challenge. Although the Tokyo Charter was formally different from the Nuremberg Charter, both of them are substantive in nature so that the tribunals were allowed not to address the legality challenge. In addition, prosecuting aggression was arguably not a violation of the principle of legality because this principle, at that time, did not bind ex post facto legislation against international crimes committed during World War II.

  • Regulating Ballistic Missile Usage for Ensuring Civil Aviation Safety: As a Matter of Urgency

    The increasing use of ballistic missiles as a means of delivering weapons of mass destruction in the course of military activities constitutes a new threat to civil aviation safety. Ballistic missiles are considered as a new form of offense and defense. These challenges may come in the form of warheads, carried by the missiles, with the possibility to explode at any time in air, or the long ranges of the missiles that bring them close to flight routes, which may endanger civil passengers. The multilateral treaty on ballistic missile prohibition is nonbinding in nature, voluntary and has a limited duration puts civil aviation safety at risk. Therefore, regulating ballistic missile in a binding manner are urgently needed to ensure civil aviation safety

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