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July 2013

On 24 May 2013 I gave a presentation by videolink to a conference on "The Roles of Psychology in International Arbitration", held in London at Brunel University, in the session related to international arbitration awards. This drew partly on Hong Kong based interdisciplinary research project on discursive practices in international arbitration, with considerable emphasis on Asia-Pacific developments. The presentation outline is below or here (download PDF file).

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Catastrophic events are increasingly in the public eye, fuelling a burgeoning but complex field of interdisciplinary research and policy-making worldwide. Recent devastating natural disasters have included the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in the United States (US) in 2005, Cyclone Nargis in Burma (Myanmar) and the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008. Developed economies have not been spared, as shown by the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand and Australia’s widespread floods in Queensland in 2011. In particular, the disasters that wreaked havoc from 11 March 2011 in the north-east region of Japan have highlighted the significance and challenges of disaster prevention and management.

Based on the international conference held at Sydney Law School in March 2012, which has also generated a recent mini-issue (No 34) of the Journal of Japanese Law, A/Prof Simon Butt, Dr Hitoshi Nasu and I have co-edited "Asia-Pacific Disaster Management: Comparative and Socio-Legal Perspectives" (Springer, forthcoming November 2013). A manuscript version of our extensive introductory chapter, freely downloadable here, outlines:

(i) what can be encompassed by the terms "disasters" and "disaster management";

(ii) contributions to "disaster studies" from various social sciences as well as domestic and international law perspectives; and

(iii) lessons that can be learned from socio-legal perspectives on recent catastrophes in Asia-Pacific countries, including possibilities for regional and international cooperation in disaster mitigation, relief and recovery.

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Japanese Law in Asia-Pacific Socio-Economic Context
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