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Open Access Publications from the University of California

UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal

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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.

Volume 34, Issue 2, 2017

Issue cover


Up and Down the Multinational Corporations’ Global Labor Supply chains: Making Remedies that Work in China

Today, multinational and domestic corporations in many industries are no longer self-contained vertical structures with permanent staff, but increasingly are horizontal organizations with fissured employment characteristics using outsourcing, franchising, and subcontracting with contractors and chains of subcontractors. Too often, the workers of the subcontractors suffer the consequences of the subcontractors’ cost cutting measures, work in unfavorable conditions, and have low wages and few benefits, all for the purpose of serving the interests and profitability of the primary corporation.

This paper therefore focuses on domestic laws that provide workers with an additional avenue of remedy from an expanded employment relationship—a doctrine of joint employer liability that places obligations “up the chain” on the in-country originating contractor who benefits from the supply chain or operates it for the benefit of the offshore multinational corporation. Some form of this doctrine is already used to provide workers with wage remedies against Chinese construction companies and to provide dispatch workers wage and “employee” benefit remedies. Given China’s extensive role in multinational supply chains, this paper examines the doctrine of joint employer liability up the chain and evaluates whether it can be expanded in China to remedy labor law violations and protect workers in the labor supply chains.

Surrogacy in Greater China: The Legal Framework in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, and Mainland China

Nowadays surrogacy contracts are becoming increasingly more frequent all over the world. Nonetheless, the complex juridical and ethical issues involved raise relevant doubts in legal orders. This article focuses on legislation regarding surrogacy in China and Taiwan. Due to its special state structure, legislative attitudes towards surrogacy are different in Taiwan, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Macao Special Administrative Region and the Chinese Mainland. Although surrogacy is only expressly allowed in Hong Kong, surrogacy contracts are also used in other jurisdictions, even if they “exist” in a grey area. This article will give a brief introduction about surrogacy legislation in these four regions in China and reveal the differences amongst them, many of which are due to the cultural specificities of each territory.


Confiscation of Terrorist Funds: Can the EU Be a Useful Model for ASEAN?

The counter-terrorist financing regime has been developed and diffused rapidly since the 9/11 attacks. The two central components of the regime are criminalization of acts of financing and confiscation of terrorist funds. These measures, which duplicate US laws on terrorist financing, have been designed to impose liability on, and confiscate assets and property of, those who finance or associate with terrorism regardless of whether there is a link between their act of financing or associating and a terrorist act. In the absence of such connection between the offense of terrorist financing and its subsequent crime of terrorism, a question arises: What is the legal basis for imposing liability on suspected financers and confiscating their assets and property? This ambiguity has never been properly addressed by the creators of the regime or by those who promote the regime. This paper explores whether and how this ambiguity has been addressed at the regional level among the Member States of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) where the agenda of countering terrorism has been largely shaped by external actors, mainly the Western states and international organizations established and controlled by them. Considering the fact that counter-terrorism has entered the agenda in the political dialogue between the EU and ASEAN, it is worth examining whether EU laws and policies on terrorist financing offer themselves as a model for ASEAN to emulate. The paper concludes that the EU, a value-based community, has failed to deal with the issue of terrorist financing effectively. This has resulted in draconian and unjustified overreach of the forfeiture laws and policies which, in many ways, are inconsistent with the rule of law, human rights, democratic values and good governance.