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Focus Asia 2010

30 March & 7-10 December

Interpreting the Rule of Law in Asia

The 12th Focus Asia brought leading scholars in law & society from around the world. This one-day conference of public lectures focused on the rule of law in Asia. Many Asian countries enjoyed economic growth and social order without strong legal institutions. However, as policies shifted to more market-oriented solutions, law becomes more important today and this gave impetus for legal and judicial reforms in Asia. When Asia develops strong legal institutions, western models are often adopted. Transplanting western legal institutions in Asia can be interpreted as a global convergence which creates homogeneity in a world that is very diverse in local culture and resources. However, the actual operation of global institutional transplants in Asia is often loosely coupled with their formal structure. It is also argued that foreign institutional models are likely to be imported with significant modification of the systems.

At the Focus Asia, we shared our knowledge and experiences in global legal transplants in Asia. We also discussed the processes and factors in which Asian societies are being transformed to rule-of-law societies where law becomes a social infrastructure. Public lectures at the conference offer research and analysis on such issues as international law, legal profession, dispute resolution, gender, law and development, and labour rights, drawing on varying experiences in East, South-East, and South Asia.     

This Focus Asia was organized by the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies in co-operation with the Faculty of Law at Lund University.


Urban Docs Asia: Identities, Memories, and Struggles in Asian Cities

In December 2010 the Centre organised its second documentary film festival. This time the theme of the festival was urban life in Asia. Through a series of documentary films by mainly local filmmakers we explored the bustling life of Asian cities such as Mumbai, Lahore, Singapore, Tokyo, Yokohama, Shanghai and Beijing.

The festival began with a lecture on 7th December by the well-known Chinese scholar Lu Xinyu. During 8 and 9 December a total of 14 different films were shown at Kino. Tickets were available free of charge upon request at Kino. Several of the film directors were available for Q&A after the films shows or at the seminar on the 10th.

On 10th December a one-day seminar on Cities and the Visual: Ethnography, Documentaries, and Image-based Research was organised. At the seminar some of the film-makers gave presentations of their work and other scholars working on different types of projects documenting or studying urban issues from different perspectives will also present their works.