Asia-Pacific urged to harmonise laws

Asia-Pacific urged to harmonise laws
CJ Menon at the opening session for the 15th Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific, and the 26th LawAsia Conference.

SINGAPORE - Singapore'S Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon has urged Asia-Pacific nations to harmonise their commercial laws to boost trade and investment.

He was speaking to the largest gathering of Chief Justices from abroad to have assembled in Singapore. They were among the delegates at a joint legal conference.

CJ Menon said that as transnational businesses are more nimble and proactive than bureaucracies, the "regional infrastructure will be playing catch-up even if states act now to harmonise their laws".

"Today, there are no spectators in the arena of globalisation; in her domain, everyone is a participant," he added.

CJ Menon said nations could start the process by making consistent the laws on the enforcement of legal judgments.

They could then proceed to harmonising dispute resolution processes and their commercial laws.

He noted that ASEAN had already recognised the importance of harmonising laws through an integration study led by the NUS Centre for International Law.

"For the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, I suggest that adopting a wait-and-see approach is no longer tenable in these times."

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