Chapter 1 introduces the book, sets out the scope and aims, and outlines the research questions and methodology. A common framework for analysing each of the regimes is explained and justified, with reference to the scholarship of international law, international political economy and global politics. Chapter 1 also outlines and distinguishes between regions and subregions in Asia, and discusses environmental regimes in the literatures. It considers the geography of Asia as a region and the environmental issues it faces, examining the numerous international and regional institutions that operate there. It also reviews the discourse and scholarship in connection with regions and subregions developed by these institutions and by academic commentators, with a focus on the development of further institutions to respond to the needs identified. The notion and practicality of regime effectiveness is also considered. Keywords: Asia, subregions, environment, regime, effectiveness
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To explain the background and meanings of the new legal realism, we need to understand the old legal realism, legal process theory, critical legalism, the law and society movement, and law and economic theory since the 1920s and 1930s. The new legal realism has not only continued the old one’s promotion of factual and open studies, but has also emphasized the legal importance of existing interdisciplinary research results and called the attention of scholars in other disciplines to the substantial legal meanings of their research. As a result, traditional and interdisciplinary legal research could better interact and cooperate to lead to multidisciplinary and empirical legal research being carried out more effectively. Keywords legal realism empirical research qualitative research quantitative research interdisciplinary research
Criminal reconciliation, xingshi hejie, is a ‘special procedure’ laid down in the 2012 PRC Criminal Procedure Law. This mechanism allows the alleged victims and suspects/defendants of certain crimes to ‘reconcile’ and thereby close criminal cases. Actually, since the early 2000s, this mechanism has been practised as an ‘experimental programme’ in many places in China. This chapter first provides a background of the introduction of criminal reconciliation, which is mainly a result of the authorities’ changing perspectives on legal reforms as well as on the criminal justice system. Following it, this chapter conducts a historical review of the Chinese mediation systems that have been in place since the Mao era, showing the connections between China’s mediation systems and various political ends, as well as the impacts of these connections on the parties’ rights and voluntariness. The last section of this chapter critically overviews the existing debates over criminal reconciliation practices, and the deficiencies with the existing literature on this mechanism.