I. General Architecture

A. Objectives and Aspirations: Potential and Constraints

The purpose of this set of studies is to examine the objectives and principal means for their achievement through an analysis of the overall structure of ASEAN. The critical component will consist in an analysis of the match between ends and means, situated in the political, cultural, economic, social and historical context of the region. Both potential and constraints will be highlighted. It is in the context of this group that a Prolegomena for a Theory of ASEAN Legal Integration will be developed.

B. Governance and Management

To understand the law, one must understand how the law (or ‘non-law’) is made and the political potential and constraints on developing legal instruments. This set of studies also assess the ‘law of decision making’ – often implicit but always existent.


C. Legal Instruments

The purpose of this element is to make an inventory and to analyse the legal and political significance of the various tools through which governance and management are to be given effect: Blueprints, Framework Agreements, Concept Papers, Action Plans, Conventions, Agreements, Declarations et cetera etc. and then to offer a toolkit drawn from the comparative universe of Free Trade Agreements.

D. Ensuring Implementation, Compliance, and Peaceful Resolution of Disputes

An essential element in any integration effort is a mechanism for making negotiated political bargains stick. This is a key legal element in the entire project often disguised as Dispute Settlement. The ASEAN ITL project examines the mechanisms proposed and available for ensuring implementation and compliance – with or without a dispute – the sharp edge of the rule of law.

E. The ASEAN Legal Order: The legal regimes of ASEAN and that of its Member States

The main purpose of this section is to map the constitutional landscape of ASEAN on a Member by Member basis – providing a crucial piece in the understanding of the potential and constraints to the role of law and the rule of law.