Asian societies have played a relatively minor role in the making of modern international law. If this historical condition is to change, if Asia is to become a `rule maker’ rather than `rule taker’, then it is imperative for Asian scholars and practitioners, officials and diplomats to be highly skilled, knowledgeable and expert in understanding and shaping a continuously changing international environment. It is crucial for Asia to engage with global debates and develop initiatives that enhance the international rule of law. The teaching and researching of international law are foundational to these projects. And yet, despite the emergence of many international law societies within Asia, no sustained and united effort has been made recently to identify the challenges facing Asian law schools and to address them in an informed, coherent and collaborative manner.
In June 2018, CIL organised the conference on Teaching and Researching International Law in Asia (TRILA), the first in many years to provide a forum where scholars from Asia and throughout the world can meet to discuss crucial questions, including teaching methods, materials for teaching international law in Asia, the development of skills, and the development of a research culture that fosters scholarship and publication. This conference will be the first in a series of events that explore these vital issues.