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Open Access Publications from the University of California

UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal

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PBLJ focuses on a diverse range of legal and policy issues as they affect the rapidly developing economies of the Pacific Rim. Throughout its history, the journal has featured articles written by leading scholars and practitioners on topics including human rights law, constitutional law, comparative law, criminal law, international trade law, business and corporate law, and intellectual property law.

Volume 30, Issue 1, 2012


Charity with Chinese Characteristics

Over the past 30 years, scholars and activists have called on the Chinese government to ease the registration and oversight rules for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and to increase funding for such organizations by, among other things, broadening the charitable deduction. While China has made significant progress in this regard, the government continues to throw up roadblocks for NGOs, suggesting that it has not fully embraced this path.

This Article considers the extent to which the justifications for a broad charitable deduction adduced in the West make sense in China. The goal is to develop a normative basis for the deduction consistent with Chinese values and interests that Chinese authorities would find compelling. This Article also considers the extent to which China's political and social culture may affect efforts to foster an autonomous civil society through a broad charitable deduction. I conclude that even if China were to adopt Western-style laws governing NGOs and provide for a broad charitable deduction, China's culture would shape both how government officials implement the laws and how the Chinese people respond to them, resulting in a distinct system of charity with Chinese characteristics.

Migration for Environmentally Displaced Pacific Peoples: Legal Options in the Pacific Rim

This paper explores the complex relationship between the environment and migration, namely the various protection options available for environmentally-displaced Pacific peoples under the laws of the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It seeks to ascertain whether flexibility exists in these countries' domestic laws for environmental migrants from neighboring Pacific countries. It asks if humanitarian and ministerial discretion admissions and preferential admission schemes sufficiently address potential Pacific island relocations brought about by global warming and climate change, and identifies both opportunities and challenges in legislation.

This paper argues that in the absence of an international legal protection regime for environmental migrants, states need to expand immigration opportunites for persons fleeing from environmental threats. In recent decades, the four above-mentioned Pacific Rim states have developed relatively open and liberal migration policies, albeit not specifically geared towards environmental migration. Admitting environmental migrants under equitable and just terms is not only in line with the fundamental values and interests of these Pacific Rim states, but it is also central to their ethical, humanitarian, and domestic legal obligations, although the latter are ad hoc and limited.