ASEAN International Investment Agreements: The Incorporation of Global Regulatory Governance

Singapore - 6 December 2012

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has traditionally been regarded as a group of states operating on an ad hoc basis through informal understandings that impose no legally binding obligations. ASEAN’s informal approach is reflected in its traditional dispute settlement mechanism that mainly focuses on the “ASEAN Way”, settling disputes by informal peaceful means. This was often characterized by minimal institutionalization, non-interference in the internal affairs of one another, consultation and consensus, as well as non-confrontation. This view, however, has been challenged since the signing of the ASEAN Charter in 2007, an international agreement signed and ratified by all Member States of ASEAN. The signing of the Charter suggests a new self-understanding of ASEAN as an organization based on clear legal obligations.
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