Human Rights in Asia: A Comparative Legal Study of Twelve Asian Jurisdictions, France and the USA, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Human Rights in Asia

A Comparative Legal Study of Twelve Asian Jurisdictions, France and the USA, 1st Edition

Edited by Randall Peerenboom, Carole J. Petersen, Albert H.Y. Chen


532 pages

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Human Rights in Asia considers how human rights are viewed and implemented in Asia. It covers not just civil and political rights, but also social, economic and cultural rights.

This study discusses the problems arising from the fact that ideas of human rights have evolved in Western liberal democracies and examines how far such values are compatible with Asian values and applicable in Asian contexts. Core chapters on France and the USA provide a benchmark on how human rights have emerged and how they are applied and implemented in a civil law and a common law jurisdiction. These are then followed by twelve chapters on the major countries of East Asia plus India, each of which follows a common template to consider the context of the legal system in each country, black letter law, legal discussions and debates and key current issues concerning human rights in each jurisdiction.


'This book analyses how human rights are viewed and implemented in Asia. Each chapter provides a general introduction to rights theory and practice, discussion of the relevant case law for each form of right, and concluding remarks that situate a country's peformance within a broader comparative context.'

- Oxfam's Development Resources Review

'The chapters on France and the USA provide a benchmark for assessing how human rights have emerged and been implemented in a civil law and common jurisdiction.'

- Oxfam's Development Resources Review

'Human Rights in Asiais a well-researched, comprehensive study of rights protection and practice in Asia that is a more than useful contribution to the literature on the subject. The breadth and quality of analysis it offers is such that it would not be surprising to see it claim the mantle of the stock text for many academics, students and avid readers of the law and practice of human rights in Asia.'

- Ankush Sharma, Asahi Lawyers, Brisbane, Australia

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors Preface Acknowledgement 1. An Empirical Overview of Human Rights in Asia, France and the U.S.: The Dominance of Wealth in the Interplay of Economics, Culture, Law and Governance Randall Peerenboom 2.The Protection of Human Rights in France: A Comparative Perspective Guy Scoffoni 3.Uncovering Rights in the United States: Gauging the Gap between the Bill of Rights and Human Rights Dinusha Panditaratne 4. The Protection of Fundamental Human Rights in Japan Shigenori Matsui 5. Taking Rights Seriously? Human Rights Law in Singapore Thio Li-ann 6. Human Rights in Malaysia H.P. Lee 7. From British Colony to Special Administrative Region of China: Embracing Human Rights in Hong Kong Carole J. Petersen 8. Human Rights in Korea Chaikark Juwana 9. The Implementation of Human Rights Law in Taiwan Frederick Chao-Chun Lin 10. Human Rights in the era of "Thailand Incorporated (Inc.)" Vitit Muntarbhorn 11. The Philippines: The Persistence of Rights Discourse vis-à-vis: Substantive Social Claims Raul Pangalangan 12. Human Rights in Indonesia Hihmahanto Juwana 13. Protection of Human Rights and Production of Human Rightlessness in India Upendra Baxi 14. Human Rights in China Randall Peerenboom 15. Evolving Concepts of Human Rights in Vietnam John Gillespie 16. Conclusion: Comparative Reflections on Human Rights in Asia Albert H.Y. Chen

About the Editors

Randall Peerenboom is a Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, where he teaches courses in Chinese law, international human rights, and legal theory. He often serves as an expert witness on PRC legal issues, and has been a consultant to the Ford Foundation and the Asian Development Bank on legal reforms and rule of law in China. He is the author of several books and more than sixty articles on Chinese law and philosophy.

Carole J. Petersen is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on women and the law, equality rights, and constitutional law. From 2001 to 2004, she served as the Director of the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Comparative and Public Law, where she continues to oversee research projects on equality and the law.

Albert H. Y. Chen is a graduate of the University of Hong Kong and Harvard University. He began his teaching career at the University of Hong Kong in 1984, and is currently a Professor in its Department of Law. He has written seven books and over 100 articles in English and Chinese, mainly on constitutional law and legal philosophy.

About the Series

Routledge Law in Asia

The series examines legal system development and rule of law in Asia, using Western legal systems as comparison points. Given the great diversity among legal systems, the purpose is to understand how rule of law is conceived and implemented, and the role of law and the legal system with respect to economic growth, political reform and democratization, the protection of human rights, geopolitical stability and the engagement of Asian countries with other countries in the international arena. The project also addresses the Euro-American centricism of comparative law by replacing outdated stereotypes with empirically grounded, in-depth and up-to-date analyses of Asian legal systems across a wide range of issues and areas of law.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General