The Law Association for Asia and the Pacific
LAWASIA is a regional association of lawyers, judges, jurists and legal organisations, which advocates for the interests and concerns of the Asia Pacific legal profession.
For over fifty years, LAWASIA has operated as a platform to promote the cross-jurisdictional exchange of legal knowledge; as a voice of the legal profession; and as a conduit for encouraging adherence to mutually-held principles of the rule of law, professional integrity and the protection of human rights.
As the representative of lawyers and peak legal organisations from over 40 jurisdictions, LAWASIA’s combined activities serve to:
- encourage and facilitate regional interaction at all levels amongst law associations, judges, lawyers and others involved in the legal community,
- provide an established voice for the interests of the legal community in Asia and the Pacific,
- promote the rule of law, respect for human rights, and high standards of legal practice,
- facilitate quality cross-border legal education that is available and relevant to all jurisdictions, regardless of resources or level of development, for the purpose of enhancing the caliber of legal practice throughout the region, and
- promote business law initiatives which strengthen relationships.
LAWASIA’s central aim is to strengthen professional and business relations among law associations, lawyers, the private sector and government representatives in the Asia Pacific.
In the course of its activities across diverse political, social, cultural and economic contexts in the Asia Pacific, LAWASIA is further guided by the objects described below:
- promote the administration of justice, the protection of human rights and the maintenance of the rule of law within the region;
- advance the standard of legal education within the region by all practicable means;
- encourage communication and liaison between members in relation to general and specialised areas of law;
- enhance the development of members’ legal practices and their professional and business relations within the region;
- further the diffusion of knowledge of the laws of the various jurisdictions within the region;
- promote development of the law in the region;
- advance the science of jurisprudence in all its phases and to promote the study and development of international law and of comparative law;
- promote uniformity within the region in appropriate fields of law;
- further international understanding and goodwill;
- assist and co-operate with international, regional, or other organisations having all or any of the above mentioned objects or similar objects;
- foster relations and exchange between lawyers and associations and organisations of lawyers within the region;
- uphold and advance the status of the legal profession within the region.
What We Do
LAWASIA advocates for the interests of the legal profession, the cross-border exchange of legal resources, and commitment to the rule of law, professional integrity and human rights.
LAWASIA holds a number of legal conferences, seminars and meetings throughout the year as a means of supporting professional development, regional networking and the exchange of legal knowledge and insight. These events are open to the broader legal profession and span both generalist and specialised areas of law, such as family law, children’s rights, employment law, intellectual property and human rights.
For more information about LAWASIA's professional events program, see the Conferences & Events page.
Resolutions, Declarations & Statements of Principle
The LAWASIA Council often promulgates statements of principle that seek to reflect a consensus view of its members on matters of law, legal practice, the legal profession and/or the rule of law.
Significant examples include:
- Declaration on Children’s Rights and Siem Reap Principles
- Statement on Principles of Access to Justice
- Resolution on Separation of Powers
- Declaration on the Need for Adequate Privacy Laws in the Region
- Resolution on Freedom of Assembly for Lawyers
Further examples are available in the Resources & Publications content library.
Human Rights Initiatives
LAWASIA has been active in the area of human rights and protection of rule of law, principally as a reflection of the issues in its region that have concerned its member organisations and the broader legal community.
Among other things, LAWASIA works to promulgate and support the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and, in 2019, LAWASIA will host its inaugural Human Rights Conference in New Delhi, India, from 9-10 February.
Statements of concern about challenges to human rights and the rule of law are regularly considered and released by LAWASIA’s Executive Committee and Council. In addition, LAWASIA undertakes observer missions, fact-finding assignments and related projects where the presence of its delegates is beneficial.
Current initiatives include:
- Fact-Finding Mission to the Republic of Maldives
- Presidential Taskforce on the Humanitarian Crisis in Rakhine State
- Statement of Continuing Concern regarding the Treatment of Lawyers in China