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Chulalongkorn University Hosts Prestigious ASLI’s 21st Annual Conference on the Future of Law in Asia

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Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Law, a founding member of the Asian Law Institute (ASLI), had the distinct pleasure of hosting ASLI’s 21st Annual Conference. Held on the 29th and 30th of May, the event revolved around the evocative theme, “The Future of Law, the Future of Asia.” With a turnout of over 260 scholarly minds representing more than 100 institutions, the conference witnessed the presentation of a staggering 176 papers.

Preceding the conference, Chula’s Faculty of Law convened a meeting of the Board of Governors, featuring delegates from the illustrious “Sixteen” founding institutions, including the National University of Singapore, Peking University Law School, National Taiwan University, The University of Hong Kong, Universitas Indonesia, Seoul National University, University of Tokyo, and National Law University, Delhi.

On the initial morning of the conference, the opening ceremony was honored by the presence of the President of Thailand’s Supreme Court, Chief Justice Anocha Chevitsophon, who delivered an insightful address.

In her welcoming speech, Asst.Prof.Dr. Pareena Srivanit, Dean of the Chulalongkorn Law Faculty, voiced profound pride in hosting the conference once again, the first instance having been in 2005. She remarked, “Chula’s pledge to excellence in legal education and scholarship has been unwavering. The theme of this year’s conference is both provocative and planned, inviting us to contemplate the future against a backdrop of technological advancements, environmental upheavals, social disruptions, geopolitical turmoil, and economic instabilities, with Asia at the epicenter of these global challenges.”

Declaring the conference open, Prof. Ryuji Yamamoto, Dean of the University of Tokyo Law Faculty and chairperson of the ASLI Board of Governors, was followed by a warm welcome from Assoc.Prof. Kelry Loi of NUS, an ASLI co-director. Post-ceremony, the conference began with an array of 29 sessions, meticulously organized across 176 topics over two days, with members of Chula’s Faculty of Law presenting and chairing more than 20 of these sessions.

The keynote was delivered by Professor Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, former Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dean of Chulalongkorn Faculty of Law, and current Chairman of the Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council. He highlighted the significant disruptions—technological, demographic, pandemics, environmental, geopolitical, and conflicts—casting a long shadow over Asia and the field of law. He provocatively posed the question, “Will the future of law shape the future of Asia, or will Asia shape the future of law?” urging participants to deliberate upon this seminal inquiry.

The evening welcomed a gala dinner at Chula’s Sala Phra Kieo, where Professor Dr. Wilert Puriwat, Acting President of Chulalongkorn University, warmly greeted the amassed scholars. He underscored ASLI’s mission alignment with Chulalongkorn University’s aspirations to be a crucible for intellectual discourse and a catalyst for progression, extending beyond Thailand to the wider region.

The second day introduced participants to Chulalongkorn University’s bold initiative, the “Chula Thai Law Book Series,” aimed at making Thai law accessible in English. A dedicated panel session featured esteemed scholars: Professor Dr. Sakda Thanitcul (author of “Tort Law in Thailand”), Assistant Professor Dr. Piti Eiamchamroonlarp (author of “Contract Law in Thailand”), and Professor Dr. Victor V. Ramraj from the University of Victoria, Canada. Moderated by Associate Professor Dr. Pantip Pruksacholavit, the session delineated future titles poised to cover key areas of Thai law.

At the closing ceremony, Professor Emeritus Vitit Muntarbhorn from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Law and a UN Special Rapporteur, delivered an enthralling presentation titled “Navigating Law’s Trajectory, Choreographing Asia’s Destiny.” He weaved together the vast array of conference papers and discourses, shedding light on emergent challenges such as global warming, digitalization and AI, and intergenerational dynamics. He also touched upon enduring issues in International, Comparative, National, and Traditional Law, threading regional and global insights into the dialogue. His speech buzzed with references pointing towards next year’s ASLI conference, whose central theme will be Asia’s Narratives. A cornerstone of this discourse was the notion of “Asia Plus,” advocating a partnership honoring International Law and local knowledge.

The 2024 ASLI Conference thus concluded on a high note, with the next meeting set to occur at the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai. The ceremonious handover of the ASLI Board of Governors’ chairmanship to Asst.Prof.Dr.Pareena Srivanit, Dean of Chulalongkorn Law Faculty, gracefully marked the wrap-up of this year’s intellectual festivity.


  1. LegalEagle99 June 5, 2024

    This conference sounds like an intellectual powerhouse! But I wonder how many practical solutions they came up with, or if it was just a lot of academic posturing.

    • Marta P. June 5, 2024

      I attended once and found it incredibly insightful. It’s not just academic; real-world applications are definitely discussed.

      • J.D. Insight June 5, 2024

        I agree, Marta. These discussions often lay the groundwork for future legal frameworks and policies.

      • LegalEagle99 June 5, 2024

        Maybe so, but I still feel like these gatherings are a bit too elite and out of touch with day-to-day legal challenges.

  2. FutureLawyer June 5, 2024

    The ‘Chula Thai Law Book Series’ is a fantastic initiative. Making Thai law accessible in English will foster greater international understanding.

    • grower134 June 5, 2024

      Sure, but how relevant is Thai law to the rest of the world? Seems like a niche market to me.

      • FutureLawyer June 5, 2024

        It might be niche, but international businesses increasingly deal with Thai companies. Knowledge of local laws is crucial.

    • Amanda L. June 5, 2024

      This could also inspire other countries to make their laws more accessible, which would be a huge win for global legal cooperation.

  3. John Doe June 5, 2024

    The involvement of high-profile figures like the President of Thailand’s Supreme Court adds a lot of credibility to the conference.

    • Skeptico June 5, 2024

      You’re kidding, right? High-profile figures are often there for show, not substance.

      • LawLover23 June 5, 2024

        High-profile or not, their presence can still lend significant weight to the discussions held.

      • John Doe June 5, 2024

        Exactly, LawLover23. It can attract more attention and resources to important legal issues.

  4. Nicole S. June 5, 2024

    I love the theme ‘The Future of Law, the Future of Asia.’ It’s thought-provoking and so timely given the current global uncertainties.

    • Gary V. June 5, 2024

      Asia is definitely where the future is being shaped, no doubt about it. But do these conferences actually influence the future significantly?

      • Nicole S. June 5, 2024

        Maybe not directly, but they shape the conversations and ideas that can lead to change over time.

  5. LegalMind June 5, 2024

    I’m impressed by the sheer number of papers presented. 176 papers over two days is a massive effort! Kudos to the organizers.

  6. maxipad82 June 5, 2024

    Will the future of law shape the future of Asia, or will Asia shape the future of law? Such an interesting question posed by Dr. Surakiart!

  7. Sandra Q. June 5, 2024

    It’s amazing that Chula can pull off such a high-profile event! Shows their commitment to excellence in legal education.

    • Nina June 5, 2024

      Absolutely! It’s clear that Chula is positioning itself as a leader in Asian legal education.

  8. Alex T. June 5, 2024

    While it’s great that they had such a diverse representation, I wonder if there were enough voices from smaller, less prestigious institutions.

  9. AcademicBear June 5, 2024

    I would love to see more focus on environmental law given Asia’s vulnerability to climate change.

  10. Tom R. June 5, 2024

    I’m glad to see these discussions happening, but how many of these ideas will actually be implemented in the real world?

    • LegalBeagle June 5, 2024

      That’s always the challenge, isn’t it? Turning theory into practice.

  11. Lucy June 5, 2024

    The topics covered were quite broad, from AI to intergenerational dynamics. How can they ensure depth with such a wide range?

    • Sophia K. June 5, 2024

      Balancing breadth and depth is a real issue, but having so many sessions means they can dive deeper into each topic.

    • Lucy June 5, 2024

      True, but I hope they didn’t just scratch the surface on each topic.

  12. Raja June 5, 2024

    Awesome initiative by Chula! These types of high-level discussions are essential for future policymaking.

  13. Kim Lee June 5, 2024

    How inclusive was the event? Were there any initiatives to bring in underrepresented voices?

    • Sam R. June 5, 2024

      Good question, Kim. Representation is crucial for a holistic discussion.

  14. Pedro June 5, 2024

    I’m looking forward to next year’s conference in Shanghai! Any guesses on the upcoming themes?

  15. Emma W. June 5, 2024

    Tech disruptions and legal responses should definitely be a recurring theme. We’re just scratching the surface of those issues.

  16. LaraJ June 5, 2024

    Kudos to Chula for their effort. But what about the less glamorous but equally important issues like administrative law and human rights?

  17. Jay June 5, 2024

    A lot of hype around these conferences, but can we see some concrete outcomes this time?

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