Skip to main content
Centre for Asian and Pacific Law
Centres and institutes_

Centre for Asian and Pacific Law

A leading centre for teaching and research in Asia and the Pacific

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.

  • Paul Davis represents Japanese utility, trading and mining companies in their investments overseas and has a broad range of dispute resolution experience in the mining and energy sectors.
  • Judge Judith Gibson, District Court of New South Wales
  • Dr Brett G Williams is the principal in the law firm Williams Trade Law. He is a specialist in International Regulation of Trade, especially the law of the World Trade Organization and bilateral and regional trade agreements. He has extensive experience as a teacher, researcher and technical assistance consultant in international trade law and policy. He has taught World Trade Organization law at the University of Sydney Law School since 2001 and at the Australian National University (2013-15), Chinese University of Hong Kong (2010-12), University of North Carolina (2004-06), William and Mary College (1996-98) and the University of Adelaide (1996). He has experience publishing, researching or working on the relationship between international trade law and the law of several Asia Pacific countries, including Australia, China, Malaysia, Samoa and Timor-Leste.
  • Professor Guo Li, Beijing University
  • Shinichi Nemoto, Meiji University School of Law
  • Professor Yuhong Zhao, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Dr Fifi Jaunita, Airlangga University, Indonesia 
  • Associate Professor Dan He, Beijing Normal University, Law School
  • Dr Heecheol Kim, Wonkwang University School of Law, Republic of Korea
  • Judge Yoshitaka Uno, Tokyo District Court, Japan
  • Judge Taku Okada, Osaka District and Family Courts, Japan
  • Judge Shota Watanuki, Saga District Court, Japan
  • Judge Kaoru Ueno, Saga District Court, Japan
  • Associate Professor Jiang Fen, Zhejiang University, China
  • Judge Yuriko Yamamoto, (June 2018 - June 2019) is a judge of Maebashi District Court in Japan hearing criminal cases. She will be visiting the University of Sydney Law School to research criminal justice system and its implications on the community as well as rehabilitation programs for known offenders.

Internships are offered periodically and will be advertised in the law student newsletter. For more information on internships, visit Resources - Sydney Law Students (in Canvas).

Featured news

Associate Director (Japan) Professor Luke Nottage is among 13 scholars recently elected full (titular) members of the Paris-based IACL.

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.

IACL full members include from Australia also include: Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC; Professor Jennifer Corrin, The Univesrity 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. 

Cutting-edge topics 

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. 

Our events

We hold seminars, conferences and workshops throughout the year.

Visit our events calendar for all upcoming events

Below is a list of some of our past events.

2019

2018

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:

  • Which court should have jurisdiction? 
  • What are the implications of the recently established Chinese commercial courts? 
  • How to address parallel litigations in Australia and China? 
  • What laws are applicable to litigations involving Chinese parties/factors?
  • Can Australian judgments be recognized and enforced in China?

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

Japanese Law and the Asia Pacific Blog