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PBLJ is the second oldest law journal at UCLA and focuses on a diverse range of legal and policy issues in the Pacific Rim, looking to both the Asia-Pacific and the Americas. In the past, PBLJ has featured articles on topics as varied as intellectual property regimes, climate change and migration in the Pacific, corporate governance, and affordable housing policy in China.

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Articles

Transnational Employment Trends in Four Pacific-Rim Countries

Transnational employment occurs when employees are sent to foreign countries by their employers to perform services. Transnational employment presents both employers and employees with a great deal of uncertainty. Despite drafted agreements, uncertainty still lingers due to the locally-regulated nature of labor and employment relations. Neither domestic regulations of labor and employment relations nor international law has thoroughly considered transnational employment. While transnational employment relationships have become common, the law has not evolved with this growth. This article will address how four countries in the Pacific Rim have confronted the growing complexities of transnational employment, including their visa processes, related laws and regulations, and their potential shortcomings.

Judicial Review of Peace Initiatives

In Province of North Cotabato v. Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain, the Supreme Court of the Philippines struck down a preliminary document that identified guideposts for future peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Separatists’ aspirations are unlikely to be embodied in existing Constitutions, since it is precisely because their aspirations are inconsistent with those of the majority that they are fighting against the State. As a result, peace agreements stretch Constitutions to make room for these aspirations. But when judicial review is invoked to check these agreements, peace agreements risk being declared unconstitutional. Few peace agreements then can survive judicial scrutiny because judicial review enforces the status quo, therefore judicial review makes attaining peace difficult or impossible.

To avoid a legal dead end, I propose an approach to the review of peace agreements. We presume that they are valid and look beyond the provisions relating to the creation of autonomous regions. We should look to other constitutional values and judicial review should be undertaken with a view to ensuring that the goals of peace and tolerance are achieved. This approach skews the review process and places an extraordinary burden on those challenging the peace instrument as unconstitutional.

This Paper was originally delivered at the 6th Asian Constitutional Law Forum with the theme “Constitutionalism in the Courts: Judicial Review and the Separation of Powers in Asia,” held at the National University of Singapore on December 10–11, 2015.

Notes

Petro Politics: Russian Conduct in the International Oil and Gas Market and the United States’ Need for a Strategic Administrative Response

How should the United States respond to Russia’s increasingly anti­competitive conduct in the oil and gas market, especially given the Russian military involvement in the crises in Ukraine and Syria and the Russian leadership’s increasingly vitriolic anti-Western sentiment? This Article contemplates the potential role of several federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, and the United States Trade Representative, in the resolution of this issue. It then considers these various agencies’ potential restrictions to action, including both jurisdictional limitations and comity concerns. I use the resulting framework to analyze Russia’s anticompetitive conduct in the oil and gas industry to comparable issues, like anticompetitive action in the airline industry by foreign carriers and disruptive conduct in the international agriculture sector. Largely due to foreign policy concerns, previous Russian action, and the legal nuances of unilaterally navigating such a global issue, I find that the United States’ best opportunity is to pursue action through invoking the procedures of the World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body.