Asian Law Center

Countries in Focus - Vietnam

THE ORIGINS OF PROPERTY RIGHTS: From Monkeys to Modern Society

Professor Masanobu Kato

Professor Masanobu Kato
Nagoya Gakuin University Faculty of Law
Of Counsel, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune


Friday, February 20, 2015; 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. followed by reception
Room 447 William H. Gates Hall

Professor Masanobu Kato is considered to be one of Japan’s leading civil code scholars. His works in Product Liability, Torts, Unjust Enrichment and Financial Leasing Contracts are regarded as definitive treatises in Japan. In addition, he has authored books and articles in commercial law, civil procedure, international transactions, intellectual property, labor, administration, tax, environmental, American, and Chinese law. Professor Kato is also well known for authoring a series of five civil code textbooks entitled: “Contemporary Civil Code System of Japan," and is planning to release the sixth and final volume “Family Law.”

Professor Kato is professor of law at Nagoya Gakuin University and Of Counsel at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune. Previously he taught at Sophia University School of Law and Nagoya University's Graduate School of Law. He was also visiting fellow or visiting professor at Harvard University, University of London, University of Hawaii, Columbia University, and Beijing University. In addition to his academic career, Professor Kato contributed significantly to various governmental bodies, including the Legislative Council Civil Law Subcommittee of the Ministry of Justice and the National Bar Examination Committee. He has also been engaged in framing significant conventions in the international business world, including the UNIDROIT Convention on International Financial Leasing and UNIDROIT Convention on International Factoring.



RACE, IMMIGRATION & CITIZENSHIP: Professor Robert Chang interviews Author Eric Liu

Eric Liu and Robert Chang

On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, we had very profound and thought-provoking discussions between Professors Eric Liu and Robert Chang. Robert Chang, Director of the Korematsu Center for Law and Equality,  interviewed author Eric Liu on his recent book: “A Chinaman’s Chance: One Family’s Journey and the Chinese American Dream,” touching on the Chinese immigrant experience, and recent issues in race-based police incidents and immigration policy.

Welcome to the ALC Fall Welcome & Reception

Asian Law Lecture

The Asian Law Center proudly announces its Autumn schedule of lectures.

We welcome anyone interested in Asian Law to attend our Fall Welcome & Reception, which is on Thursday, October 9 from 3:30 p.m. (Room 447, William H. Gates Hall). We will introduce our Asian Law professors and welcome our new students and scholars.

Please RSVP to

Sustainable International Development Program Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Prof. Prosterman

On Thursday, February 6, the University of Washington School of Law’s Sustainable International Development (SID) program celebrated its 20 year anniversary with a special program to look back at what was accomplished in its first two decades and also to look forward at where the innovative program is heading. Professor Roy Prosterman, who founded the SID Program, the first graduate program at a U.S. law school to focus on international development law, was honored at the event.

UW Law was also pleased to welcome back Yoichi Shio (c/o '04, SID LLM) for the event. Mr. Shio is the Director, Law and Justice Division, Governance Group, of Japan International Cooperation Department (JICA).

UW Faculty & Staff Travel to Bangkok and Tokyo For Seminars, December 2 & 4.

This December, several of our UW Law faculty and staff will travel to Bangkok and then Tokyo for seminars on Intellectual Property and Technology. We look forward to seeing our alumni and university partners as we travel abroad.

On December 2, UW Law, Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Law, and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) will host the “IP Policy and Technology Transfer Practice” Seminar at Chulalongkorn University (please see the above link). Experts from Japan, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Korea, China, Vietnam, and Russia will speak on a variety of topics such an international contracts, health law, taxation law, and TRIPS. Invited speakers include Prof. Sakda Thanitcul of Chulalongkorn (LLM '93; PhD '97), Prof. Toshiko Takenaka (UWLS, CASRIP director), Prof. Dan Laster (UWLS & PATH), Prof. Shamnad Basheer of National University of Juridical Sciences, India (UW Visiting Scholar 2012), Associate Dean Patricia Kuszler (UWLS), Ms. Anna Bakhmetyeva (UWLS, CASRIP & LTA), and Prof. Dongsheng Zang (UWLS, Asian Law Center Director).

On December 4, UW Law and Tokyo Medical Dental University will co-host a seminar on "Globalization of Medical Science Industry and Technology Transfer Strategies." Topics for the first panel include "Licensing Genetic Material" (Prof. Kuszler), "Intellectual Property Issue in Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement" (Prof. Zang), and "Technology Transfer System in Russia" (Ms. Bakhmetyeva).

The second panel is on "Training Licensing Specialists and Additional Values in Studying Abroad." The speakers are Mr. Tasuku Matsuo (Asian Law LL.M. '69), Prof. Ryuichi Yamakawa (Asian Law LL.M. '90), and Mr. Yutaka Nakamura (Asian Law LL.M. '92).

Asian Law Center Celebrates Milestone 50th Anniversary

ALC 50th Logo

During the 2012-13 Academic Year, the Asian Law Center celebrated its bicentennial anniversary . We began with two back-to-back October conferences in Seattle and in Tokyo honoring former Asian Law Center Director Professor John O. Haley. In March, we welcomed back Professor Dan Foote for a public lecture on the saiban’in system and criminal justice reform in Japan.  In May we celebrated Professor Roy Prosterman, as well as the the 20th anniversary of the Sustainable International Development Graduate Program, with a panel discussing emerging legal challenges to inclusive development in Myanmar (Burma).

Our year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Asian Law Center culminated in a special event on June 13, 2013, at the Four Seasons Hotel. The celebration, led by Dean Kellye Y. Testy and ALC Director Jon Eddy, recognized the lifetime achievements of five of our distinguished alumni throughout Asia:

• Tasuku Matsuo M.C.L. '69
• C.J. Kim Ph.D '72
• Liu Guoyuan LL.M. '82
• Erman Rajagukguk LL.M.'84, Ph.D '88
• Tay-sheng Wang LL.M. '90, Ph.D. '92

Each of the honorees emphasized how much the faculty, staff, librarians, and their peers meant to their education and propelled them to where they are today. It reminded us, reflected Dean Testy, of the enormous influence that our faculty members have on our students' lives and, in turn, the influence our students have on our world.

Founded fifty years ago, with just one faculty member, the ALC is now an international hub of legal thinking. The impact of the program is felt around the globe, with multiple generations of graduates serving as leaders in business, government and academia.

Former Vice President of Taiwan and Human Rights Advocate, Annette Lu Hsiu-lien, to Deliver Lecture at UW on April 5

Madam Annette Lu Hsiu-lien

We are honored to host Annette Lu Hsiu-lien, Vice President of Taiwan from 2000 to 2008 and current president of Taiwan Alliance for Green 21. Madam Lu will deliver a lecture entitled “A New Perspective on the Asia Pacific" at UW on Friday, April 5, from 3:30-5:30pm at the Burke Room inside the Burke Museum.  In her talk, Madam Lu will present her proposal for resolving the military crisis over the Diaoyutai Island territory, claimed by Taiwan, Japan, and China, as well as highlight new strategies for improving foreign relations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Asian Law Center, in honor of its 50th anniversary, and by the China Studies Program in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

Madam Lu is a writer, politician, and antinuclear activist. A graduate of National Taiwan University, University of Illinois, and Harvard University, Lu rose to prominence as the founder of feminist movement in Taiwan. Later, she became a leader in an opposition movement calling for democracy and an end to the Kuomintang authoritarian rule. On December 10, 1979, she delivered a speech at an International Human Rights Day rally (known as the “Kaohsiung Incident”), and charged with “violent sedition” and sentenced to prison by a military court. Lu was released in 1985 after 1,933 days of imprisonment. In 1993, Lu was elected as a member of Taiwan’s national parliament and in 1997 she was elected as the Magistrate of Taoyuan County. In 2000, she was elected the first female Vice President. In 2004, she was re-elected after being struck by a bullet on the eve of the election. After her retirement in 2008, Lu established the International Federation of Business and Professional Women-Taiwan. She is currently involved in two national campaigns: the “Less Meat, Less Heat” Campaign to combat climate change and a movement to halt construction of Taiwan’s 4th Nuclear Power Plant.

Jeffrey Riedinger, UW Vice Provost for Global Affairs, Brings Wealth of Expertise in Asia

Jeffrey Riedinger, UW Vice Provost for Global Affairs

Jeffrey Riedinger (J.D. '80), professor and dean of International Studies and Programs at Michigan State University (MSU), has been named vice provost for global affairs at the University of Washington.  The UW Office of Global Affairs oversees the university's multiple activities in the global arena including study abroad, exchanges for students and faculty with universities in other countries, and support for international research and centers the UW has established abroad.

Riedinger, was also appointed faculty with the UW School of Law.  An expert on the political economy of land reform and sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, he has conducted research in East and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, the Middle East and South Asia.  One ongoing project involves colleagues from the UW, universities in Beijing and Landesa conducting surveys of China's rural families to provide evidence-based recommendations to the Chinese government to enhance long-term land-use rights for farmers.  Riedinger has also conducted briefings on foreign aid, land reform and other development issues for members of the White House staff, state department and USAID personnel, members of Congress and their staff, World Bank, non-governmental organizations and private foundations.

Dana Raigrodski and UW Women's Center Task Force Work to Prevent Human Trafficking

Dana Raigrodski

The UW Women’s Center has been involved in anti-trafficking work on a national and international scope for more than 15 years. Dana Raigrodski, Assistant Director of the Asian Law Center, is representing UW Law on the human trafficking task force. The task force’s work is a collaboration between all the stakeholders: academics, activists, NGOs, policy makers, and the business community. It focuses on the root causes of trafficking in the era of globalization and on researching and mapping the use of trafficked labor in addition to sex trafficking. The mission of the task force is to develop a better understanding of the ongoing field of trafficking and the industries that support it. To that end, Raigrodski is chairing the task force committee on continuing legal education, which is putting togtether a training on "Human Trafficking: Forced Labor and Corporate Responsibility" for legal and business professionals on May 11, 2012. The task force will also convene an international conference on Human Trafficking on January 11-12, 2013.

Professor Theo Myhre served as a U.S. Delegate to Vietnam, May 23-June 1, 2011

Professor THeo Myhre

Professor Myhre will work under the American Bar Association's Rule of Law Initiative with legal leaders from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as part of a 10-day program that addresses potential reforms to Vietnam's legal system, including professional skills, professional standards and ethics, legal education, and fair trial standards.

UW Law Hosts Vietnamese Bar Leaders as part of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative

In August 2010, UW Law hosted a delegation of legal educators and Bar leaders from Vietnam, sponsored by the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). During the first week of their visit, the delegation met with WSBA officers, judges and legislators, and the legal practice community. During the second week the delegates attended daily meetings and presentations by law school faculty and staff on various legal topics.

UW Law, ABA-ROLI and Ho Chi Minh City University of Law in Vietnam have been developing future collaboration on legal education and curricular reform in Vietnam. UW Law and HCML executed a collaborative agreement in order to pursue potential avenues and funding from both ABA and the Vietnamese Ministry of Education.

Alumnus Tung Thanh Ngo Returns to Pursue Ph.D. Degree

After earning an LL.M. in Asian and Comparative Law from the University of Washington School of Law in 2004 as a Fulbright Scholar, Tung Thanh Ngo, who also holds an LL.B. from Ho Chi Minh City University (1995), returned to Vietnam and continues to contribute to the development of the legal profession Vietnam. Known as a visionary leader in government and business circles, Ngo is a strong advocate for an adversarial justice system and steadily pushes to adopt greater transparency and consistency in the application of law within Vietnam’s developing legal system. He returns to the UW Law School Asian and Comparative Law Program to pursue a Ph.D. in 2009.

Since 1999, Ngo has been the Managing Partner of the biggest Vietnamese law firm in Vietnam – VILAF-Hong Duc (Vietnam International Law Firm). Under his leadership, VILAF has transformed from an affiliate of Clifford Chance to an independent commercial firm in Vietnam.

Alice Stokke Reviews Investor Protection Reforms in Vietnam for the World Bank Doing Business Project

Alice Stokke

Alice Stokke traveled to Hanoi in May 2006 to conduct a 360 degree review of investor protection reforms in Vietnam. Her research included interviewing respondents from a broad spectrum of organizations, including drafters, practitioners, government officials, the international organization officials who oversaw the project and domestic and foreign end users. Sponsored by USAID and Booz Allen Hamilton in cooperation with the World Bank, the final report, co-authored by Veronica Taylor, has been used by the World Bank in its 2007 and 2008 Doing Business Report. The Doing Business project of the World Bank Group provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 181 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level.

Professor Taylor Conducts Comprehensive Diagnostic Survey of of Commercial Law in Vietnam as Part of the USAID/STAR Project

Professor Taylor and team members in Vietenam

During 2005-2006, Professor Veronica Taylor served as the contracts and company law expert on a team of commercial law and trade professionals tasked with conducting an evaluative study for the USAID Support for Trade Acceleration (STAR) Project (with Booz Allen Hamilton) in Southeast Asia. In September 2005, Professor Taylor and team members traveled to Vietnam and conducted a comprehensive Diagnostic of laws, public and private institutions, and social dynamics that pertained to commercial law and trade facilitation environments in Vietnam.

STAR Vietnam is a project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide demand-driven technical assistance to Vietnam in implementing the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, the World Trade Organization agreements and the Trade Investment Framework Agreement in cooperation with the Office of the Government of Vietnam. Since its inception in 2001, USAID/STAR has helped Vietnamese counterparts adjust or develop almost 100 major laws and regulations.

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