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Conference Program

Please note that the below is a preliminary conference program and subject to change. Information correct as at 03 July 2018.

New Era for South East Asia
Thursday, 1 November 2018
14:00 – 18:30 LAWASIA Executive Committee Meeting
ExCo Members only.
Friday, 2 November 2018
10:00 – 16:00 Annual LAWASIA Council Meeting
LAWASIA Council Members only. This event is by direct invitation only.
15:00 – 17:00 Conference registration – Name badge collection
17:00 – 19:00 Opening Ceremony
Opening Address from LAWASIA President, Mr Christopher Leong
Welcome Address from President of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr Suon Visal
19:00 – 21:00 Welcome Reception
Saturday, 3 November 2018
8:00 – 9:00 Delegate registration continues
Session 1
9:00 – 10:30
Belt & Road
The economic and strategic agenda known as the “Belt & Road” was proposed by the Chinese government to enhance cooperation among relevant economies. It aims to create a large international market that will strengthen economic ties and cultural exchange between states and enable an innovative and equitable development of the region. This session will examine current results and future prospects of the “Belt & Road” initiative implementation, specifically concentrating on its implications for the Asian region including changes of policy and legal services. Furthermore, the session will discuss applicable local legal requirements and importance of providing legal services to outbound investors. The session will also discuss possible development of disputes resolution mechanisms and, particularly, multinational cooperation of legal service between law firms and practitioners in light of increased business opportunities.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
This session will address the advent of third party funding in arbitration and its effect on the resolution of environmental disputes in South East Asia; with specific reference to Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar. South East Asia is home to tropical rainforests (Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and the Malay peninsula). Any developmental activity, particularly in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, has to be very carefully undertaken keeping in mind the fact that this region is a major carbon sink. Maintenance of this delicate balance between the developmental needs of the region and the environmental requirements will be crucial to the carbon trade in the region. Third party funding in arbitration, particularly while resolving environmental disputes of the nature mentioned above, will have wide-ranging effect on the arbitration jurisprudence in the South East Asian region.
Bar Leaders’ Forum
This session will involve bar leaders from member organisations, together with leaders from other jurisdictions who are present at the conference, to discuss matters of mutual interest. There will be a particular focus on issues affecting, and the needs of, developing countries and the manner in which the larger legal community and law associations can coordinate cooperation with law associations in developing countries.
10:30 – 11:00 Morning refreshments and networking
Session 2
11:00 – 12:30
FDI: Foreign Direct Investment in developing Asia
In an era of shifting economic centre of gravity to Asia and slowing China growth, the rise of India and ASEAN will lift the global economy in the next few decades. This session will feature speakers from Asia and discuss FDI and the new Digital Economy in Asia.
Environmental Law: Environmental dispute resolution
This session will address the various emerging mechanisms for dispute resolution arising out of climate change issues, with a particular focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.
Foreign activity in the South Pacific and its implications for the rule of law
This session will discuss relevant issues of developing countries in the Pacific.  Many of these issues – such as independence of the judiciary, the rule of law and the role of law associations – are common in developing countries of Asia.
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch and networking
Session 3
13:30 – 15:00
International Tax: Tax incentives as a catalyst to economic development in Indochina – targeting the right incentive
The Indochina countries have introduced a number of tax incentives in recent years. The question simply is whether they have implemented the right incentives at the right time and whether such incentives appeal to the present economic conditions. This session will examine the region’s present tax incentives policy by looking at the tax policy developments in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia.
Human Rights Section: Disability rights in the ESCAP region
The commitment of the Asia-Pacific region to a disability-inclusive society has been restated over three decades. This seminar will introduce you to three key elements necessary to fulfil this objective: access to justice, mental capacity and decision-making, and de-institutionalisation through the right to independent living.

This session will explore the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which remains a sustainable development goal for 2030.

Young Lawyers’ Forum
This session will focus on the interests of young lawyers from any part of the world, and provide them with an opportunity to raise issues of particular concern to the next generation of practitioners. Experienced practitioners are welcome to participate.
15:00 – 15:30 Afternoon refreshments and networking
Session 4
15:30 – 17:00
Cross-Border Insolvency
This session will look at issues arising out of the regulation of financially distressed companies which have assets or creditors in more than one country in the Asia Pacific region. Recent developments in choice of law rules, jurisdiction rules and enforcement of foreign judgement rules will be examined.
Anti-Trust in Asia
This session will discuss and examine the increasing influence of anti-trust regulations in Asia, including enhanced merger filing and review requirements, consumer protection measures, and unfair competition restrictions.
Judicial interaction in international commercial arbitration
This session is organised by the Judicial Section of LAWASIA, under the Honourable T.F. Bathurst AC, Chief Justice of New South Wales, and will cover consideration of the different models adopted across various jurisdictions for interface between international arbitration and commercial litigation.
Sunday, 4 November 2018
Session 5
9:00 – 10:30
Banking & Finance: Funding the digital economy – how conventional principles of finance are embracing and serving the digitalisation of commerce and trade in developing countries

The session aims to explore and discuss the role of financial technology in achieving financial inclusion for sectors of the community in developing countries

Environmental Law: Impact of climate change on human rights
The session will consider the implications of failing to take action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions (by increasing sources or reducing sinks) and how the consequent exacerbation of climate change impacts on human rights.

Topics to be discussed include:
• Human Rights and Climate Change in the 2015 Paris Agreement: Potential, Perils and Prospects
• Climate change and vulnerable Groups – Global and Regional developments
• Climate-induced Displacement and Human Rights in the Asia and Pacific
• Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change

Chair: The Honourable Justice Brian J Preston SC | Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales (AUSTRALIA)

• Ms Irum Ahsan | Office of the General Counsel | Asian Development Bank (PHILLIPINES)
• Professor Ben Boer | Wuhan University (CHINA)
• Dr Kirsten Davies | Macquarie Law School (AUSTRALIA)
• Dr Georgina Lloyd Rivera | SFS Center For Environmental Research In Conservation And Development Studies (CAMBODIA)
• Professor Lavanya Rajamani | Centre for Policy Research (INDIA)

Land Law: How real is my estate?
A comparative analysis of doing business under reliable, predictable, efficient, and secure Real Estate System and Procedures, with reference to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, juxtaposed against other jurisdictions of Asia Pacific.
10:30 – 11:00 Morning refreshments and networking
Session 6
11:00 – 12:30
International Franchising: Hot Topics in Asian Franchising
Franchising is booming in Asia as International brands expand into new markets.  Most franchisors have agreements that are well established in their home jurisdictions. What happens when things go wrong and disputes arise?  How can franchisors anticipate and avoid disputes, and what can franchisees do to protect themselves if disputes arise?
Europe Issues: EU-ASEAN trade agreements
This session will discuss the status of various initiatives which have taken place over the past decade, commencing with the EU-ASEAN Enhanced partnership in 2007 and most recently involving a resumption of negotiations on an EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement.
Family Law
This session will examine developments in international family law disputes involving people in the Asia Pacific region, with a particular focus on custody issues and the division of assets.
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch and networking
Session 7
13:30 – 15:00
Applying Best Corporate Governance Practices in the developing world – challenges in South-East Asia Communications, Technology & Data Protection: Is there a role for data protection law in developing countries?
The session will discuss the current data protection regimes in force in the region and consider whether, and to what extent, developing countries in Asia and the Pacific should consider adopting privacy and data protection laws.
Artificial Intelligence and the Employment Law Implications
The increasing emergence of artificial intelligence and robots is leading to some fundamental employment changes. The disappearance of the need for human performance of manual work in many traditional occupations brings with it profound implications for the employment relationship and the legal rights and obligations of workers and employers. Speakers in this session will explore some of the employment law implications.
15:00 – 15:30 Afternoon refreshments and networking
Session 8
15:30 – 17:00
Intellectual Property: Establishing and enforcing intellectual property rights in Indo-China and the surrounding region
The session will involve a consideration of the IP regimes established in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and China; the impact of Free Trade Agreements; the significance of Cambodia’s accession to the WTO; technology transfer in the region; and the protection of foreign investment.
Criminal Law – Corruption: Environmental crime in the Indo-China region
This session will address the various emerging mechanisms for dispute resolution arising out of climate issues, with a particular focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.
International Moot Competition

Final Round

Monday, 5 November 2018
9:30 – 10:30 Plenary Session: Business, Human Rights and the Environment in South East Asia
It has become apparent in recent years that global business activities can no longer be sustained without due regard to, and respect for, human rights and the environment.  In this context, there is a growing expectation upon lawyers to possess sufficient knowledge and skills to advise on the changing needs of business clients.

LAWASIA has sought to address emerging issues of business and human rights through its annual conference program, focusing on aspects unique to the Asia Pacific and to the role of regional legal profession.  High-level discussions on this topic occurred most recently at the annual LAWASIA conferences in Sydney (2015), Colombo (2016) and Tokyo (2017).

At this year’s plenary session, LAWASIA is proud to introduce its pilot project on business and human rights with the launch of a Lawyers’ Toolkit and Guidance Note on Business, Human Rights and the Environment.  The project aims to provide practical resources tailored to lawyers in the Asia Pacific.  Following an introduction by LAWASIA, the Toolkit and Guidance Note will be analysed by expert representatives from civil society and the private sector, before the discussion is opened to conference delegates.  The insights shared at this session will assist delegates in developing their understanding of legal issues relating to business and human rights, as well as the skills needed for effective legal practice in this area.

10:30 – 11:30 Closing Ceremony
•  Moot Presentations
•  2019 conference announcement

Registrations for the 31st LAWASIA Conference are now open. Secure your place as a delegate today!

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