Saturday, December 11, 2010

Professor T. Ginsburg's "Eastphalia" Theory Applicable To IPR Law in China?

Yesterday, Professor Tom Ginsburg of University of Chicago Law School was giving a presentation at the University of Hong Kong about his paper 'Eastphalia As The Perfection Of Westphalia', which will be published in the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies.

In it he is trying to answer whether the following claims are each valid and if so compatible:
1. Globalisation leads to universalism and global constitutionalism (regionalism), so away from sovereignty as made explicit in the treaties of the Peace of Westphalia;
2. Asia will become the dominant power.

Read his paper here.

With "Eastphalia" Professor Ginsburg characterises the possibility that the values of Westphalia will continue in Asia. Nowadays, these "Asian values" of emphasis on sovereignty and non-interference have led to a distinctive sort of foreign trade agreements (FTAs) in China. These FTAs include subjects such as foreign direct investments (FDIs) and often intellectual property rights.
According to Professor Ginsburg, when China is signing these FTAs it is:
  • not interested in exporting its laws to other countries. It could therefore described as less imperial in this sense, less contractually inclined;
  • The FTAs have a framework quality, vague made for an ongoing relationship;
  • not legally enforceable and;
  • less driven by a template.
However, in regard to the legislation of intellectual property rights law, it might be that China is at the brink of exporting its vision on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in international governmental bodies such as WIPO and WTO's TRIPs.

To be continued later.

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