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When reading the competition law statutes of countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam or, to a lesser extent, the Philippines, it quickly becomes clear to anyone who has studied EU competition law in any detail that these statutes have been inspired by or, indeed, partly been copied verbatim from EU competition law. Yet, do these transplants actually work the same way in the receiving countries? Is that even possible at all? And how are we to understand any deliberate changes which have been made to the transplants?
The article aims to develop a method for investigating EU competition law transplants in non-EU countries, focusing especially on ASEAN, based on inter-disciplinary insight into the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts in the receiving countries. For this, the article engages with the theoretical underpinnings of legal transplants and comparative law. It has become increasingly well-recognised in critical comparative legal research that it is essential to go beyond the legal perspective, but this is still rare in competition law comparison. A sound method taking into consideration legal and non-legal contexts will help us to understand more fully the role of competition law in those non-EU countries that have opted to transplant the EU model.
The narrative that defines privatisation, corporatisation, and the separation of ownership and regulatory functions as the key prerequisites for a successful state-owned enterprises’ (SOE) governance structure represents the literature's leading approach. This approach has been embedded in national laws and policies across many countries. Nonetheless, some legal scholars have scrutinised and questioned this single-minded perspective, emphasising the impact of existing institutional conditions and calling for an alternative understanding of corporate governance dynamics in different SOEs. Notwithstanding a vigorous debate on SOEs, it almost exclusively focuses on China, while Russia, being another large state-driven economy, has been missing. This article fills this gap and offers a comparative and critical perspective on the state ownership system in Russia. The analysis of Russian SOEs reveals classic governance and incentive problems attributable to state ownership. However, the question is how despite close affiliation to the State and high transaction costs caused by state interference, Russian SOEs have gained a substantial international market presence. This article answers this paradox.
Indonesia enacted a controversial ‘Omnibus Law’ on Job Creation in late 2020, and its implementing regulations followed in February 2021. This Law, and particularly the labour cluster of amendments within it, has been linked to Indonesia's recent ‘democratic decline’ or ‘illiberal turn’. Many of the amendments reduce worker protections with the aim of producing a more flexible labour market. While it is these obvious amendments in favour of employers’ interests that have attracted the most attention, a deeper analysis of the changes introduced by this Law reveals additional important factors at play. There has been a significant repositioning of labour regulations within Indonesia's hierarchy of legal instruments, as well as important responses to Constitutional Court judicial review cases. Overall, this deeper legal analysis produces mixed evidence for democratic decline in Indonesia.
In 2016, China introduced an ‘Admission of Guilt and Acceptance of Punishment’ system (known as ‘plea leniency’) premised primarily on the ideal of punishing crime efficiently while advancing the protection of human rights. In this article, I challenge this official rationale by critically examining the legitimacy of plea leniency as a rights-based approach to crime. Drawing on procedural justice theory, I use extant research data and online criminal judgments from the courts in Shanghai to unravel manifold mismatches between the plea leniency process and a procedurally just decision-making process that respects individual rights. My contention is that the operational dynamics of plea leniency is weighed heavily towards efficacy with little regard for the fundamental norms of due process and fairness in which the procedural legitimacy of this new form of summary dispositions is grounded. By tying the expedition of criminal proceedings to guilty pleas, plea leniency represents a discursive continuity of China's broader criminal justice culture, and as such, it fails in operating on a more just, respectful, and communicative basis to accommodate defendants’ interests which stand at the core of its operation.
In her recent book, Constitutional Statecraft in Asian Courts, Yvonne Tew develops an ambitious argument for empowering Malaysian judges to promote constitutional democracy. Her arguments rely on the idea of an unamendable constitutional ‘basic structure’ or ‘meta-Constitution’ expressive of that ideal. I argue that her proposals are normatively inadequate to this task because Tew relies on resources in constitutional theory traceable to the conservative German thinker Carl Schmitt, whose views about constitutional legitimacy and limits to constitutional amendment form part of an authoritarian political logic designed to subvert constitutional democracy that subordinates legality to power politics. I then argue that Tew's proposals, if applied to Malaysia, risk feeding into elements of Schmittian authoritarian logic that plausibly underwrite Malaysia's ethnocratic context, and conjecture (through case-analysis) that authoritarian judges could easily reconfigure her proposals to legitimate ethno-authoritarian rule. Conversely, conscientious judges who defend constitutional democracy would adopt a non-Schmittian approach that emphasises the normative priority of legality as a constraint on political power to counter ethno-authoritarian rule. Consequently, despite Tew's aspiration to equip judges with tools to defend constitutional democracy, the tools she provides threaten to undermine this aspiration such that her proposals may be characterised as a naïve Schmittian misappropriation.
Legal academics were once thought to be parasitic on the work of judges, so much so that citing academic work was said to weaken a judgment's authority. Recent times have however seen prominent academics appointed to the highest courts, and judicial engagement with academic materials appears to have increased. In this light, this article empirically studies academic citation practices in the Singapore High Court. Using a dataset of 2,772 first-instance High Court judgments, we show that citation counts have indeed increased over time. This increase was distributed across most legal areas, and was not limited to, though more pronounced in, judgments authored by judges with post-graduate law degrees. Books, not journal articles, have consistently accounted for the bulk of the court's citations. The study sheds new statistical light on the evolving relationship between judges and academics, particularly in the context of an Asian, first-instance court.
In the era of sentencing guidelines, the punishment for traffickers is primarily based on the offenders’ culpability and the drug weight. Existing literature tend to focus on the issue of proportionality as it relates to the roles and culpability of offenders. However, little attention has been drawn to the quantity of drugs. England and Wales have incorporated offender roles into their sentencing guidelines, while Hong Kong uses drug tariffs strictly based on drug weight to calculate the starting point of a sentence. Using a novel equation called ‘the arithmetic starting point of sentence’, this study examines the starting sentence based on each gram of drugs by undertaking a comparative analysis of the respective jurisdictions. The results show that both jurisdictions have adopted sentencing guidelines that exhibit a logarithmic curve. This implies that the scale used to measure the quantity of drugs is disproportionate, penalising smaller quantities more harshly than larger quantities.