Legal Sites and Resources in Asia, including China and Japan

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General

AsianLII is the latest Legal Information Institute in the WorldLII Family. It provides free access to legal information from all 27 countries and territories in Asia located from Japan in the east to Pakistan in the west, and from Mongolia in the north to Timor Leste in the south. Access to AsianLII is free. AsianLII was launched for free public access on 8 December 2006 in Sydney.

AsianLII provides for searching and browsing databases of legislation, case-law, law reform reports, law journals and other legal information, where available, from each country in the region. At launch it will provide access to nearly 100 databases drawn from almost all 27 Asian countries. Over 140,000 cases from at least 15 countries, and over 15,000 pieces of legislation from at least 18 countries will be searchable. All databases can be searched simultaneously, or searches can be limited to one country’s databases or other combinations. Search results can be ordered by relevance, by date, or by database. For every country, AsianLII contains an extensive Catalog of law-related websites for that country (parts of the largest law catalog on the Internet), and a ‘Law on Google’ facility assisting users to search Google only for legal materials from that country.

www.registry.asia (DotAsia Organisation Ltd.) is the new Registry Operator for the .ASIA Generic Top Level Domain. Its primary aim is "To sponsor, establish and operate a regional Internet namespace with global recognition and regional significance, dedicated to the needs of the Pan-Asia and Asia Pacific Internet community."

BiziLaw is a new site for the Asian-Pacific legal community. It provides legal news and articles and a links library and is setting up various directories relating to lawyers and legal services in the region. You have to "join" for some of these services but it is free. Some other services are available on a chargeable basis.

Legislationline is a free online service provided by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). It compiles international texts and domestic legislation in the OSCE region (55 countries located in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe and North America) dealing with the rule of law and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. This is a particularly useful site for finding out about the legal and political structure of Eastern European and Central Asian countries less well known to UK lawyers. A free email newsletter is available, providing information on the latest legal developments throughout the OSCE region along with new additions to the site.

Asia Legal Business (ALB) contains latest legal news, events and developments in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Asia and the international business community. Each issue contains in-depth features examining changes in legislation, important areas of practice, overseas jurisdictions along with revealing profiles of major industry leaders. The information on the site is free (subject to registration) although it is also possible to subscribe if you want to receive it automatically in email form. There is also a jobs site for the same regions which is here.

China

Hong Kong Legal Information Institute (HKLII - pronounced 'H K Lee') is the latest member of the AUSTLII family, produced in association with University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law. The site provides free access to primary legal materials from Hong Kong and some publicly available secondary materials. There are comprehensive links also to Chinese materials.

Lehman, Lee & Xu is a Chinese law firm with branches in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Shenyang and Chengdu. Their site includes a large amount of information on the Chinese legal system which they have set out as a series of FAQ's on many legal topics. There is also an extensive set of links to other legal resources in China and the Far East.

RayYin & Partners is a professional legal service team in Beijing. There are articles on the site on Trust And Estate Planning, Foreign investment, Intellectual Property, International Trade and Corporate Matters.

Legalmall is a Chinese company search service provider set up by RayYin and Partners Lawyers (as above), based in Beijing. The main services offered are:
- Basic Company Search (to verify whether the target Chinese company does actually exist or is a scam firm)
- Comprehensive Company Search (to establish whether the target Chinese company is stable and reliable)
- Sourcing boundle (negotiating a contract with the Chinese company in behalf of the foreign client)
- Free legal aid, through a service of Q&A
- Legal documents downloading.

Japan

The Japanese Parliament has set up a site to explain the workings of the Japanese Parliamentary System. You can link to the Parliamentary proceedings.

A site called Japan Law, set up by Nakamura & Associates, aims to provide information on Japanese Commercial Law topics, such as How to Incorporate a Business in Japan.



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