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May 2018

Asia’s Changing International Investment Regime: Sustainability, Regionalization and Arbitration, Julien Chaisse, Tomoko Ishikawa and Sufian Jusoh (eds),
Springer, 2017, xii + 260pp, ISBN 978-981-10-588, 120 Euros

Reviewed by: Luke Nottage and Ana Ubilava (University of Sydney Law School PhD candidate)

This 14-chapter book published in late 2017 provides a succinct and quite comprehensive overview, as well as some detailed analysis, of key developments and themes in the rapidly evolving field of Asia-Pacific international investment treaties. It is particularly useful for readers in the antipodes, given for example Australia’s emphasis on concluding bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and especially more recently Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with investment chapters, with counterparties in the Asia-Pacific region. Although the book’s title refers to “Asia”, several chapters refer to foreign direct investment (FDI) and treaties extending around the Pacific Rim, as well as some developments in Central Asia (a very different sub-region to South or especially East Asia).

The editors’ short Introduction, comprising helpful chapter summaries, explains that the book derived from the recent “rapid evolution of the international investment regime in the Asia-Pacific region”. It aims “to help predict the future regulatory framework in the region, and how the regional trends affect the development of global rules for foreign investment” (p1). Part I sets the scene by outlining “regional trends in an evolving global landscape”, including a growing concern about rebalancing FDI and treaties to promote sustainable patterns. Part II focuses on the “regionalization of investment law and policy ”, especially key intra-regional treaties concluded recently or under negotiation. Part III ends by asking whether we will see a trend “towards a greater practice of investment arbitration in the Asia-Pacific?”. The backdrop is that treaties and FDI flows are triggering somewhat belated, but nonetheless sometimes controversial, increases in both inbound and outbound investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) claims involving Asian states or investors.

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The Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL) is pleased to be coordinating two panels for the biennial conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, hosted this time by the University of Sydney. Below are the accepted presentation titles and abstracts.

ANJeL also will host for members some informal drinks and nibbles at the Sydney Law School, level 6, from 6pm on Tuesday 4 July. Members may register by emailing (by 30 June): ana.ubilava@sydney.edu.au

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https://brill.com/abstract/title/36129Guest blog written by: Nobumichi Teramura (UNSW PhD in Law candidate)

Ongoing dramatic geopolitical transitions in the world have inevitably impacted on the international business environment of the Asia-Pacific region. This requires Australia and other countries in the region to re-examine their legal infrastructure for transnational business disputes. Convergence and divergence of legal systems of competing and sometimes cooperating states in the Asia-Pacific require the Australian government and other stakeholders to address unprecedented legal complexities in private to private, private to public, and public to public commercial dispute resolution.

On 19 April 2018, the Sydney Centre for International Law (SCIL) at the University of Sydney Law School organised a post-ICCA symposium: “International Commercial Dispute Resolution for the 21st Century: Australian Perspectives”. The symposium, the second recently with the University of Western Australia (UWA) Law School and also supported by Transnational Dispute Management (TDM), brought together leading experts in international arbitration, investment law and international business law from all over the world. They examined broad and perhaps increasingly overlapping fields such as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in a changing legal and political environment, cross-border litigation in the Asian region, other international commercial dispute resolution mechanisms (arbitration and mediation), and inter-state dispute settlement.

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Japanese Law in Asia-Pacific Socio-Economic Context
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