Director: Professor Ian Townsend-Gault
Faculty of Law
University of British Columbia
1822 East Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: (604) 822-4780
Fax: (604) 822-8108
Welcome to the homepage of the Centre for Asian Studies at the
Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia. We are the largest
group of academics teaching and researching Asian legal issues in
Canada. We focus on the law and legal culture of China (including
Taiwan), Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia, with a particular emphasis
on Indonesia and Vietnam. The core of the Centre is comprised of
four faculty members who are responsible for one of these jurisdictions/areas.
In addition, senior graduate students assist with the teaching program
as instructors. We also have an ever-increasing number of visiting
scholars from many Asian countries, made up of academics, practitioners,
prosecutors, judges, and other researchers (see the section on our
Visiting Scholars Program, below).
Research projects include a program an Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution
supported by the Major Collaborative Initiatives Program (MCRI)
of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
(SSHRC). This project, undertaken in collaboration with UBC’s
Institute of Asian Research, involves archival and interview research
on attitudes in China, Japan, and Canada about international rule
regimes in trade and human rights, and analysis in light of a paradigm
of ‘selective adaptation.’ Additional projects
include a SSHRC-funded project on China’s laws and policies
on governance relations in the periphery. Other projects involve
socio-legal research on issues of sustainable development, human
rights, and globalization.
We offer a range of courses
in Asian Law, and these are listed below (click on the links for
Course Descriptions). In addition to the efforts of faculty and
visiting scholars, our work is furthered by graduate and undergraduate
This site contains information
on our four core programs, in Chinese Legal Studies,
Japanese Legal Studies, Korean
Legal Studies, and Southeast Asian Legal
Studies, and their Directors, as well as courses in Asian law,
research and other projects, links with partner institutions and
our Visiting Scholars Program.
Chinese Legal Studies
hinese Legal Studies at
U.B.C. offers general and specialized training in the field of Chinese
law and promotes scholarly exchanges with outside institutions,
in particular the Faculty of Law at Beijing University and the National
Taiwan University with which the Law Faculty has agreements for
the exchange of scholars and graduate students. The program also
has close ties with the Law Institutes of both the Chinese Academy
of Social Sciences in Beijing and the Shanghai Academy of Social
Sciences as well as the University of Hong Kong Law Faculty.
Research projects include a Chinese Legal Culture Project, a Chinese
Securities Market Project, a Chinese Justice Project and a Chinese
Foreign Investment Law Project. Publications have appeared in the
China Quarterly , East Asian Executive Reports ,
The China Law Reporter and the UCLA Pacific Rim Law
Japanese Legal Studies
he Japanese Legal Studies
program was inaugurated in 1980 with a grant from the Law Foundation
of British Columbia and the Max Bell Foundation. Formal co-operation
and exchange relationships have been established with the Law Faculties
of Japanese national universities in Osaka, Hokkaido and Niigata
and with Chukyo in Nagoya and each year students are selected to
study under a University Education Abroad Agreement at Sophia University
Japanese Legal Studies also sponsors a number of visiting scholars
and guest lecturers from, amongst others, Japan, Australia and the
United States who make a significant contribution to the academic
and professional activities of the Faculty.
The main research project to date under the Japanese Legal Studies
program is a six year project into the cultural, social, legal,
economic, administrative and medical context of mental health care
in Japan and the situation of psychiatric patients and their families.
Korean Legal Studies
Acting Director: Professor Shigenori Matsui
he Korean Legal Studies
Programme was established in the Fall 2003 on the initiative of
the late Professor Stephan Salzberg, with a generous grant from
the Korea Foundation.
UBC Law Faculty is the only place in Canada that maintains the Korean Legal Studies Program. As social and legal intercourse between Canada and Korea is increasing rapidly, the demand for Korean legal studies is also growing. The program promotes international legal exchange and Korean legal studies in Canada and in Northern America.
In 2006, the Faculty signed a cooperation agreement with the Faculty of Law at Korea University, which will promote academic exchanges and joint projects. Also in that year, the Korea Foundation announced a substantial grant to the Centre to lay the foundation for a permanent chair in Korean Legal Studies. We have also concluded cooperation agreement with the Supreme Court of Korea.
A number of judges, prosecutors, law professors, and practicing attorneys from Korea are accepted as visiting scholars each year for the duration of six month to a year. They enrich the academic environment of the faculty by undertaking cross-cultural scholarship in a wide range of legal topics
Southeast Asian Legal Studies
he Southeast Asian Legal
Studies program commenced in the Fall of 1993 and was made possible
by a generous grant from the Max Bell Foundation. The program provides
an opportunity for legal scholars from the region to come to U.B.C.
to participate in teaching, research and publication. The program
covers: legal systems and government, law making, court systems
and dispute settlement, foreign investment and trading laws, and
natural resources and environmental laws. The research and publication
program evolved through consultations with law schools in the region,
federal and provincial governments, the Canadian private sector
and non-governmental organizations.
Southeast Asia is an extremely disparate region, comprising Burma,
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore,
Timor Leste, Thailand, and Vietnam. CALS personnel have worked in
all of these countries except Burma and Timor Leste, and this has
enabled the Centre to develop good working relationships, including
exchange agreements, with a number of partner institutions, including
the National University of Singapore, Chulalongkorn University in
Bangkok, the University of the Philippines, the National University
of Vietnam, and the National University of Lao at P.D.R. We have
not yet developed courses on the law of any of these countries,
but hope to do so before long. In the meantime, our general introductory
course Introduction to Asian
Legal Systems always includes a component on either Vietnam
Law Library Asian Collection
he Law Library
has an extensive collection of Asian legal materials, including
the laws of China/Taiwan and Japan in their original languages and
in English translation. The Library has a good set of basic Singaporean
legal materials. A Korean law collection is in process of development.
The collection includes a large number of monographs on a range
of Asian legal topics, and the library subscribes to a number of
journals and information services relevant to all four Programs.
Visiting Scholars Program
he Centre for Asian Legal
Studies is committed to the promotion of cross-cultural exchanges
between those working on law and policy in Asia, and to this end,
has instituted a Visiting Scholars Program. We accept legal professionals
of all kinds - judges, academics, prosecutors and practicing lawyers
as Visiting Scholars. The period of stay in Vancouver generally
ranges from six month to a year. Visiting Scholars are usually offered
shared study carrel space, a library card, access to classes in
the Faculty (space permitting), and also to the University's academic,
cultural, and sports facilities. The Centre is not in a position
to offer a stipend to Visiting Scholars.
The Centre welcomes applications from anyone working on Asian legal
issues. In common with other Centres and Institutes at UBC, and
at other universities, the Centre for Asian Legal Studies levies
a nominal fee to cover the expenses of administering the Visiting
Scholars Program. For all applications received after September
1st, 2010, the fee will be CAD$300 per month. All income from
fees will be used to support the work of the Centre.
Applicants should submit
an application to the Centre for Asian Legal Studies by email to
Cals@law.ubc.ca , by fax to
the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at (604) 822-8108, or by mail
addressed to the Centre for Asian Legal Studies, Faculty of Law,
University of British Columbia, 1822 East Mall, Vancouver, B.C.
V6T 1Z1, Canada. The application should include:
A Cover Letter with
clearly stated dates of the proposed stay in Vancouver;
A Curriculum Vitae;
A Research Plan with
the detailed information to show that the applicant has a
concrete research proposal to study at the faculty; and
CALS Visitor Application
Form (Please click here
to download the form.)
Applications are normally
considered three times, in March, in July, and in October. The application
should be submitted at least five months prior to the applicant's
anticipated arrival in Canada. Recommendations are made to the Dean
of the Faculty of Law, who makes the final decision as regards invitations.
“Chinese Legal Reform: The Rule of Law and Administrative Processes”
Professor Xixin Wang
Vice Dean and Professor of Law, Peking University Law School
Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
12:30-1:30, Allard Hall room 114
Everyone interested in Chinese Law is invited to attend the discussion and light lunch with Professor Wang. Please RSVP to Megan Coyle at email@example.com by 4:30pm on Monday, November 28th.
The Centre for Asian Legal Studies presents:
“Private international law of contract: the reception of the Rome model in the Far East”
Professor Jan Neels
Professor of Private International Law and Director of the Research Centre for Private International Law in Africa, University of Johannesburg
Thursday, December 15th, 2011
3:00pm, Allard Hall room 121
The seminar will be followed by an early Christmas party in room 402 (the faculty lounge) for faculty, students, visiting scholars, and other participants. Everyone is welcome!
Visiting scholar orientation, September 13, 2010
CALS Professor Tae-Ung Baik and assistant Megan Coyle with CALS
Visiting Scholars and Crown Counsels Trevor Shaw and Kevin Gillett
during a tour of the Law Courts in Vancouver, March 18, 2010. The
day also included lunch at the Law Courts Inn and an engaging presentation
on the Criminal Justice System by Crown Counsels Shaw and Gillett.
The Third UBC Law – Korea University
Law School International Workshop: the Judicial Reform in
Asia and its Implications for the Canadian Legal System, October
Visiting Scholars and Faculty, September 2007
Professors Tae-Ung Baik and Shigenori Matsui with CALS Visiting
Scholars, UBC Graduate and Exchange Students, after a tour of the
Law Courts in Vancouver which included a lecture by Crown Counsels
Trevor Shaw and Kevin Gillett, November 2, 2007.