EW Barker Centre for Law & Business

The Contract Formation & Parties in the Contract Laws of Asia

(projects funded by MOE Academic Research Fund with the NUS Centre for Asian Legal Studies)
by Professor Mindy CHEN-WISHART & Associate Professor Burton ONG

This project is envisaged as the second in a series entitled "Studies in Asian Contract Law."* There is a paucity of publications on the subject in the English language, and a dearth of literature on comparative Asian contract law. This project aims to remedy this by providing scholarly domestic and comparative research into the main areas of contract law, and assessing how they compare with the emerging shape of European contract law. The series will enhance the position of Singapore as a venue and catalyst for collaboration amongst legal scholars in Asia who have hitherto looked to Western legal scholarship as the principal template for comparative law writings. Contract law scholars in Asia (and in particular those in Civilian jurisdictions with Civil Codes) have tended to concentrate their inquiries on doctrinal issues within the jurisdictional framework, and their comparative work has tended to gravitate toward those jurisdictions in the same legal tradition or "family" (mainly, English, German or French). This project sets out to build bridges across those traditions, and importantly, bridges between the subject Asian jurisdictions of different legal families.

First, it will provide an up-to-date description of the contract laws of major Asian jurisdictions, including discussions of the current controversies, justifications for the present laws and critiques relating to them. Second, it will provide wholly new research on Asian comparative contract law from a horizontal, vertical and transnational perspective; this will provide unique insight into the topic of legal transplant. This will make an important contribution to the reform of national contract laws and the current initiative towards harmonization of contract law in Asian jurisdictions (the Principles of Asian Contract Law). Third, an appendix of the relevant English language publications in each jurisdiction will be included in each book; this will facilitate access to perhaps unknown literature or literature which has suffered from little dissemination. Fourth, the project may also benefit non-English speaking scholars as the book series is likely to create demand for translations into Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Fifth, each volume will be facilitated by a Colloquium for the presentation and discussion of the work of contributors. This will produce fruitful comparisons, raise further questions for consideration and generally facilitate a better sense of the common endeavour for all researchers. Sixth, the series will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students as core teaching material for the development and teaching of courses on comparative Asian contract law in law schools world-wide. Seventh, it will allow actors within the commercial private sector to understand the current legal rules and principles of the contract laws of major Asian jurisdictions that may be applicable to international business transactions and to understand the values and policies shaping the development of the law in the selected jurisdictions. Eighth, the project will benefit policy-makers, governments and law-makers, including law reform bodies. Each volume of the book series will have a significant comparative concluding chapter which will comment on the and the why of the current state of the law in subject jurisdictions, draw conclusions as to their likely developments, make observations on any needs for future reform in each selected jurisdiction.

Conference Programme | Speakers Profiles