The Role of the Rule of Law in ASEAN Integration
From its establishment in 1967, ASEAN has relied more on diplomacy rather than law. Political relations were managed by consultation and consensus and declaratory statements, while treaties denoting binding legal obligations were few. However, upon its 40th anniversary in 2007, the ASEAN Charter vowing to bring the Legal and the Institutional to the forefront of ASEAN discourse was signed. Blueprints for the three ASEAN pillars – the Political-Security, Economic and Socio-Cultural Communities – were also adopted alongside numerous new treaties with detailed obligations and dispute settlement procedures. This paper explores the aspirations, realities and limitations as the regional organisation endeavours to develop into an integrated ASEAN Community by 2015, paying particular attention to the new role of law in regional relations.
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