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Title: Harmonisation of Laws in ASEAN: The Issue of Language
Contributor(s): Smith, Robert Brian  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2019
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.4323491Open Access Link
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The diversity of national and official languages is a key element impacting on the ability of ASEAN member states to harmonise their laws so there is a common approach to prosecution of international criminal activity. Such an approach is critical as the ASEAN Economic Community moves to greater integration. The paper briefly describes the importance of language in understanding legal concepts and then describes the variety of legal systems in place across ASEAN which, other than the case of Thailand, are vestiges of their colonial past. The paper discusses three possible models for harmonisation/cooperation, namely: a set of model laws; accession to an international treaty; or an agreement to cooperate. In the case of Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore where the legal systems use the English language, all three models could be used. For the other six countries, because of their diversity of language it is argued that the set of model laws is not appropriate. The preferred option is a treaty or conventional which sets out the scope and minimum requirements to be included in the local law and the obligations to cooperate with each other. The Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention) is suggested as a possible model.

Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: International Seminar on Politics, Administration and Development 2019 (INSPAD2019), Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, 7th-8th November, 2019
Source of Publication: International Seminar on Politics, Administration and Development 2019 (INSPAD2019), p. 273-282
Publisher: School of Government, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Place of Publication: Universiti Utara, Malaysia
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 480301 Asian and Pacific law
480310 Public international law
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 230407 Legislation, civil and criminal codes
HERDC Category Description: E2 Non-Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
Appears in Collections:Conference Publication
School of Law

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