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  • Author: John J. Chin
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Hong Kong, once renowned as an apolitical and orderly British entrepôt, is now seething with political discontent, student unrest, and pro-democracy protests. Nothing less than the future of “one country, two systems”—the framework through which China agreed to maintain Hong Kong’s autonomy for fifty years in exchange for British agreement to restore Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997 after more than a century of British administration—is at stake.
  • Topic: Government, History, Social Movement, Law, Democracy, Protests
  • Political Geography: Asia, Hong Kong
  • Author: Veronika Bílková
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In late 2018, Japan announced that it would withdraw from the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling and leave the International Whaling Commission. It did so due to its disapproval of the ban on commercial whaling, which has been in force for the Parties of the Convention since 1986, and to its decision to resume whalle hunt since the summer of 2019. This reflection first gives an overview of the evolution and the structure of the international legal regime related to whaling and of the history of Japan’s relationship with this regime. It then shows that the Japan’s attempt to justify the resumption of commercial whaling by the principle of sustainable use of living marine resources cannot be successful for both practical and normative reasons.
  • Topic: Environment, Treaties and Agreements, Law, Hunting, Whaling
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia
  • Author: Mahathir Mohammad
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features an address with a focus on the rule of law and multilateralism by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: International Relations, Law, Economy, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: New York, Malaysia, Asia
  • Author: June Dong Kim
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to analyze the major factors behind why each stakeholders in the legal, health, educational and audio-visual service sectors in Korea op-pose liberalization in a qualitative political economy context as well as to pro-vide alternative strategies for further liberalization in these four service sectors. In legal services, the foreign equity ceiling of 49 per cent for joint venture law firms may be lifted as long as the present regulation against the number of FLCs in a joint venture law firm exceeding the number of Korean lawyers is maintained. In health services, as a step-by-step approach, we can first con-sider a system where incorporated hospitals can be established and liquidated more freely by deregulating current limitations placed on the disposal of re-maining properties, while an overly distribution of dividends is restrained. In educational services, in order to deregulate limitations regarding the disposal of remaining properties, it will be necessary to enhance the transparency of management and operation of private schools. In this regard, allowing school foundations to take the form of a limited liability company could be considered, since they would then become subject to external financial audit. In audio-visual services, it will be necessary to improve monitoring and im-plementation of intellectual property rights as well as competition policy when considering further liberalization. The major factors compelling each stakeholder in the legal, health, educational and audio-visual services to oppose further liberalization can be summarized as a general mindset towards uniform equity and control, cultural factors pre-venting discussion on rational alternatives, insufficient government budget for universal services, lack of administrative capacity in policy implementation and monitoring, absence of a proper system to evaluate the quality of ser-vices, asymmetry of information, and persistence of acquired rents. In order to correctly identify and understand the nature of problems, the highest priority should be placed on reducing the mistrust among the con-stituents. This is because mistrust among the constituents acts as the most important impediment when attempting value-creating negotiation strategies among each of the stakeholders. Meanwhile, to build trust among all constit-uents, free flow of information works as an important factor. Therefore, the problems of mistrust and lack of free flow of information are the most important impediments to improve those constraints that were analyzed in the selected service sectors. In addition, they are interlinked with each other, so that dealing with these problems simultaneously is a rational solution. In order to accomplish this, it is utmost important to develop the capability of each constituent to allow them to interpret specific pieces of information without distortion. In this regard, upgrading research and educa-tion of economics also becomes imperative.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Law, Economic Policy, Trade Liberalization
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Vimal Kalavadiya, Vinod Patgar, Vijay Rathod, Mahabaleshwar Hegde, Manju Menon, Krithika A. Dinesh, Hasmukh Dhumadiya, Bharat Patel, Tania Devaiah, Jayendrasinh Ker, Harapriya Nayak, Santosh Dora, Vimal Kalavadiya, Sandeep Patel, Debayan Gupta, Bipasha Paul, Kanchi Kohli
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program trains and supports a network of community paralegals or grassroots legal advocates who work with communities affected by pollution, water contamination and other environmental challenges. They use the legal empowerment approach to make communities aware of laws and regulations that can help secure much needed remedies for these problems that often arise out of noncompliance or violation of environmental regulations. As part of their work, the community paralegals write about their cases to create public awareness on the use of law outside of courts as well as engage the readers in these issues. This is an updated collection of published stories written by paralegals and their team members working in coastal Gujarat, Northern Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Keonjhar, Odisha. These are a combination of case stories and opinion pieces on issues of industrial non-compliance that have adversely affected many local communities. Each article tries to highlight the gap between the law on paper and its implementation in reality, while putting forth the conviction that putting law in the hands of ordinary people can shift the balance of power in support of justice.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Environment, Law, Justice
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Linear projects like highways have the potential to change existing land use of large areas. These changes are not limited only to the stretches made for transportation of vehicles. The effects of construction are also visible on landscapes on both sides of highways. This study presents the findings of a two-year long groundtruthing study carried out between June 2016 and August 2018 along 187 kilometres of National Highway 66. The study is a collaborative effort of the Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Programme and communities from towns and villages situated between Karwar and Kundapur, especially the 27 Panchayats, in the district of Uttara Kannada in Karnataka. The study presents evidence of non-compliance of environmental safeguards resulting in social, economic and health impacts on the local communities in the project areas. It also highlights several aspects that were not taken into account in the project’s impact assessments. The study includes a broad assessment of the project’s scale of direct impacts. During the course of the study, the following types of non-compliance were identified: Permissions for blasting, groundwater and river water withdrawal were not taken; Dumping soil on wetlands and creeks caused flooding and salt water intrusion; The construction caused soil erosion and landslides along embankments; Non-submission of six-monthly compliance reports by the project proponent; Non-compliance of other laws and compensation agreements; The report includes a case study of a stone crusher unit operating in Bogribail village and causing water and dust pollution.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Infrastructure, Law, Social Policy, Pollution
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The event was organised as a part of ‘Dialogues on Sanitation’ series and specifically focused on the legal and regulatory regime pertaining to urban sanitation. The event brought together senior policymakers, city and state level implementers, technocrats, members of the civil society and legal experts to brainstorm towards bettering the regulatory regime on urban sanitation. Several aspects such as the role of law and regulation in Faecal Sludge Management, rights of sanitary workers, and public-private participation in Urban Sanitation were discussed during the course of the workshop.
  • Topic: Government, Law, Regulation, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Maanav Kumar, Parag Mohanty
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This study looks at the development of legal and regulatory framework governing drinking water and sanitation services in South Africa, England and United States. Around 780 million worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water and almost 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation according to data published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In such a situation, it becomes extremely important to study the legal and regulatory measures used internationally to control, manage and improve these resources. This study, covering South Africa, England and USA, sets out to identify, comprehend and analyze these legal frameworks and structures; examine the control exercised by national, state/provincial as well as municipal governments over water and sanitation-related questions; and the responsive measures being taken by them to preserve the water resources and their quality for future generations. The authors have observed that in presence of varying geographical, historical and social factors, while it would be impossible to compare each model against the other on the basis of merit, it becomes increasingly important for governments to balance the individual’s right to water with the planet’s ecological balance.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Natural Resources, Water, Law, Regulation, Legislation, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Kyle Lemargie, Silja Paasilinna
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Foundation for Electoral Systems
  • Abstract: In response to a recent study by Max Grömping entitled The Integrity of Elections in Asia: Policy Lessons from Expert Evaluations, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) produced a briefing paper with some examples of policy lessons applied in practice across Asia. IFES has worked in Asia for the past three decades supporting election management bodies, civil society and other electoral stakeholders in their efforts to promote electoral integrity.
  • Topic: Law, Elections, Transparency, Campaign Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Mormugao Port is located at Vasco bay in the Mormugao taluka of Goa at the point where the Zuari river meets the Arabian Sea. This region is home to thousands of fisherfolk from the Karvi community who live along the beaches of Mormugao, Salcete and Tiswadi talukas. It is a natural harbour that provides safe haven for ships and fishing vessels during storms, like it did in 2017 when cyclone Okchi hit this coast. The lives and livelihood of these fisherfolk are intrinsically linked to the activities of Mormugao port as they have had to share their customary livelihood areas – the sea and the beaches – with the port. This has resulted in them competing for space for their daily activities like fish landing, boat parking, net mending, and even housing with the port and its infrastructure development on the landward side, and competing with larger shipping vessels for navigation space and access to certain parts of Vasco bay. It was in this backdrop, that a community led groundtruthing study was initiated in April 2018 by Old Cross Fishing Canoe Owners Co-op Society Ltd, Baina Ramponkar, Fishing Canoe Owners Society, Destierro Fisherman Association – Vasco, Goenchea Raponkarancho Ekvott (GRE) and the Centre for Policy Research (CPR)-Namati Environmental Justice Program with support from concerned citizens of Vasco and the Federation of Rainbow Warriors.This groundtruthing study is also an attempt by the affected community members to understand the environmental impacts of these berths, link them to the regulatory requirements and then push for compliance of the same.
  • Topic: Environment, Law Enforcement, Law, Regulation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia