US Asia Law Institute Colloquium: Globalization, International Law and East Asia Law

Professor José E. Alvarez
Professor Frank Upham

Fall 2020
Tuesdays, 7–9 p.m.

Remote Course

2 credits

This two credit colloquium will meet weekly for the fall semester of 2020. It addresses contemporary legal issues involving East Asian states, particularly China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. Background readings and invited guests will address attitudes towards globalization, international law, and comparative law from the perspectives of the countries, societies, and regional organizations of East Asia. As indicated in the tentative syllabus below, it will include discussion of disputes involving the law of the sea; developments with respect to commercial and investment dispute settlement as well as other economic/development issues (such as controversies surrounding the China’s Silk Road initiative); national security topics (including those involving restrictions on entry on high tech industries from the region); national courts’ engagement with human rights issues such as marriage equality; diplomatic controversies embroiling Japan and South Korea; and the handling of crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Six prominent visiting scholars will present their recent published work or works in progress for student comment. The pedagogical goals for the class are to familiarize students with current issues of consequence while demonstrating how legal academics engage with and critique scholarship. As noted below, students will be evaluated on how they engage with legal scholarship both in writing and in class discussion. An additional one credit will be available at the instructors’ discretion for students who write a research paper to satisfy their Option A writing requirement.

Fall 2020 Schedule of Presenters

Tuesday, September 8
Guest: Tom Ginsburg, “Authoritarian International Law”

Tuesday, September 29
Guest: Peter Dutton, “China and Law of the Sea” (Chapter 5 and Chapter 7)

Tuesday, October 13
Guest: Matthew Erie, “Chinese Law and Development”

Tuesday, November 10
Guests: Chen Chao-ju, “Stigma Costs: The Search for Legal Recognition among LGBT Co-parents in Taiwan” 

Tuesday, November 17
Guest: Eric Feldman, “The Japanese Response to COVID, a Comparative Perspective”

Tuesday, December 1
Guest: Margaret Lewis, “Criminalizing China”


Anyone wishing to attend any particular session of the Colloquium above should email Stephany Ramos ( to get a zoom invitation.