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Ma Xili

Resorting to the immensely state-centric international legal system to regulate corporate human rights abuses is often viewed as inadequate. Among many proposals aiming at filling the international regulatory gaps, imposing international human rights obligations directly on corporations is a bold one, which, due to profound doctrinal and practical challenges, is yet to be materialized. However, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), given their prima facie “state–business nexus” that blurs the traditional public–private divide, might provide a renewed opportunity to push forward the “direct international corporate accountability” campaign. This study investigates whether SOEs represent a golden chance for direct corporate accountability in the international legal regime. This study provides a legal analysis supported by case law, and by comparative and empirical research when appropriate. After providing a definitional account of SOEs, it examines the legal status of SOEs under international law. Then, in the reverse direction, it proceeds to explore if the state–business nexus of SOEs as non-state actors could render the argument toward direct international corporation accountability more convincing. Major findings reveal that SOEs, to a limited extent, represent a renewed opportunity to rethink direct corporate accountability under international law.

Yuko Nishitani

In the era of globalization, commercial transactions readily gain international dimensions and are increasingly delocalized. With a view to establishing effective dispute resolution mechanisms, it is desirable that judgments rendered in one state be recognized and enforced in other states. This is especially important in East Asia, as cross-border business activities are rapidly expanding along with its economic growth. This paper aims to examine the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters in East Asia with a focus on Sino–Japanese relationships, where the establishment of a reciprocal relationship has posed a considerable challenge. It is worth considering how we can gradually pave the way towards the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments to achieve coordination among legal systems.

Yu Lüxue

Daphna Hacker

This paper explores the main legal aspects of filial piety in Israel. Based on a socio-legal study, it traces a significant gap between the law in the books, which mandates that children support their parents financially if the latter cannot support themselves, and the law in action, which narrows this obligation to cases in which the parents must be cared for in a State nursing home. The study also highlights the relevance of religious and cultural norms in shaping filial piety in multicultural countries and thus points to the urgent need to tailor filial piety legal policies according to socially constructed, actual, and diverse filial piety perceptions and practices.

Yu Lüxue

The increase in aging populations is one of the most important issues facing the world today. This article considers how the legal systems in three jurisdictions — China, Singapore, and the United States — with different legal, political, and ethical regimes, impose and then enforce obligations on adult children to care for their parents. For Singapore, this article considers the content and operation of the Maintenance of Parents Act 1996 and the use of mediation and tribunals for the enforcement of its provisions. For the United States, where more than half the states have some forms of filial support legislation, this article mainly focuses on the experience in Pennsylvania and North and South Dakota and considers cases interpreting the legislation from these states; it also considers the interplay between the legislation and federal social security and healthcare programs. For China, this article mainly considers the obligations imposed by the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (amended in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018) with examples of recent cases decided in 2017 and the encouragement given to children to support their parents through two agreements (the Separation of Family Assets and the Family Support Agreement) and increased inheritance rights under the Law of Succession 1985. China is unusual in imposing a legal obligation on children to visit their elderly parents, and the article considers recent cases on this. Through a comparative approach, this article also assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches in each jurisdiction.

Editors Frontiers of Law in China

Editors Frontiers of Law in China

Hou Peng

In the summer of 2017, Hong Kong became the first jurisdiction in China to codify formal financing arbitration and to make it clear that third-party funders with no legitimate interest in the disputes could be allowed to inject capital to support funded parties in arbitration cases. With the latest Code of Practice coming into effect in the spring 2019, Hong Kong is ready to guide the funders in detail on delivering investments into the arbitral procedures in the harbor seat. By examining these legislative processes in Hong Kong, it can be proved that financing arbitration will enable enterprises to dispose of their disputes with easier access to justice, promote the quality and efficiency of dispute resolution, and improve the welfare of society as a whole. Therefore, it is justifiable to adopt third-party funding in China-related arbitration to promote the Chinese mainland’s arbitration practices and support the international proceedings involving Chinese parties, particularly the international ones arising from investments related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

Guanglin Qiaozi

With the development of the international community, public morals have attracted increasing attention from states. Nevertheless, the “public morals” exception clause in Article XX(a) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is hardly invoked by state parties as a distinct basis for trade-restrictive measures. The EC-Seal Product dispute is the first case in which the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) considered this issue, after which it addressed the issue in the Columbia-Textiles and the Brazil-Taxation disputes. This article aims to analyze the kinds of public morals that can be justified while implementing trade-restrictive measures. It proposes that the human rights standard is a significant moral concern and that human rights law and trade law may be integrated. The article also addresses the question on the procedures that should be followed in applying Article XX(a) to avoid abuse. It concludes that Article XX(a) attaches intrinsic importance to striking a balance between trade liberalization and state sovereignty, for which it must be reserved in the GATT.