The Inaugural Asian Law & Society Association Conference 2016

Asian Law & Society Association (ALSA) President, Professor Setsuo Miyazawa giving the Keynote Speech at the conference

The Centre for Asian Legal Studies is proud to have hosted the inaugural meeting of the Asian Law & Society Association (ALSA) on 22-23 September 2016 at the NUS (Bukit Timah Campus).

Associate Professor Dan Puchniak, Director for the Centre for Asian Legal Studies delivering the welcome address

Dr Lynette Chua, Chair of the ALSA Conference Organising Committee giving the Opening Remarks

ALSA was established in 2015 with the aims of fostering scholarship and engaging the broader research community. It succeeds the East Asian Law and Society Collaborative Research Network (CRN 33) of the Law & Society Association as the regional body. Its executive office is housed at Waseda University, Japan. The newly established ALSA stands at an opportune moment to develop the Asian law and society field into a vibrant and cohesive discipline. Its inaugural meeting provides a timely platform to define the field, advance theory, and cultivate empirical work and new scholarship.

Dr Hsiao-Wei Kuan responding to a question during the panel session on “Gender: Marriage, Violence & Choice”

The conference was attended by 150 participants from 22 countries and 140 papers were presented in the panel sessions. The Conference theme was “Law and Society: Advancing and Defining the Field”. There were seven parallel sessions held over six consecutive periods. The panels included topics such as : Islam & the Law, Japanese Legal Issues, Gender Equality & Rights – Old & New Challenges, Non-Judicial Actors, the Law & Justice, Labour in Asia, The Internet: Challenges & Opportunities etc.

Participants engaging in further discussion during the coffee break

Professor David Engel, co-convener of the Special Panel Series on Legal Consciousness, Culture and Conflict in Asia, updating the ALSA Board of Trustees

A special panel series on Legal Consciousness, Culture and Conflict in Asia was organised as part of this inaugural ALSA conference. Convened by Dr Lynette Chua and Prof David Engel, the invited scholars examined multiple definitions of legal culture and legal consciousness with the purpose of facilitating scholarly interaction and development in Asian law and society. With this series of panels and planned publication based on the selected papers, they hope to make an important contribution to law and society scholarship at large and to begin shaping a canon for this area of scholarship in the region. The following are the key areas of focus in this special panel series:

Legal Consciousness, Work & Family
Legal Consciousness & Citizens’ Voices
Legal Consciousness, Corporations & Commerce
Legal Consciousness, Courts & Judges

Professor Andrew Harding reporting on the conference organisation at the ALSA Board of Trustees Meeting

The next ALSA Conference will be held on 15 to 16 December 2017 at the National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. The theme is “Equality, Social Justice and Law: New Challenges of the Transforming Asia”. For more details on the conference, refer to the Asian Law & Society Association website at

Group photography at the ALSA Conference Closing Session