'Legal Cooperation, Harmonization and Unification: An ASEAN Perspective'
Online Conference

28-29 October, 2022


Legal cooperation can be seen as a mechanism through which different countries can share experiences and provide legal assistance to support each other to improve their legal systems, as well as effectively solve legal issues related to other countries. At the higher level,  legal harmonization (or harmonization of law) is when two or more states change their legislation relevant to some area of common concern to conform to their statutes and facilitate compliance and enforcement across borders. At the highest level, legal unification replaces distinct legal norms in different legal systems with common legal norms. This is an inevitable trend, as well as a normative requirement for all countries in the context of globalization and international and regional cooperation.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional organization established in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 8, 1967. The requirement of Legal Cooperation, Harmonization and Unification has been raised fora long time and has become an urgent need since the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. In practice, these issues have been mentioned in a number of ASEAN documents in past decades, such as in the Joint Statement issued at the 4th ASEAN Law Meeting in Singapore in  1999; Declaration of the ASEAN Senior Law Officials Meeting (ASLOM) in Singapore in 2001 and 2004; Statement of the ASEAN Law Ministers’ Meeting (ALAWMM) in Bangkok in 2002, in Hanoi in 2005, and in Phnom Penh in 2011.

However, compared with many other regional organizations, such as the European Union, the level of Legal Cooperation, Harmonization and Unification in ASEAN is still limited, and in fact, has not met the requirements for building the ASEAN Community.

In that context, an online conference titled “Legal Cooperation, Harmonization and Unification: An ASEAN Perspective” will be co-hosted on Friday and Saturday, 28th and 29th October 2022 by:

The purpose of the conference is to provide an opportunity for scholars, especially those in ASEAN, to share their research and discuss the advantages, challenges and solutions to promote Legal Cooperation, Harmonization and Unification in ASEAN in the coming years.

The themes of the online conference will include:

  • Role of ASEAN (structure, framework, objectives)
  • Commerce and trade
  • Criminal justice cooperation – including, for example, transnational crime, such as human trafficking, money laundering, cybercrime and extradition
  • Legal frameworks for harmonisation of laws
  • Harmonisation through private standard setting – eg. Corporate social responsibility
  • Frameworks for public health cooperation
  • Labour migration and labour protection within the ASEAN region