The Asia region is experiencing a wave of constitutional strains, with political and social disruptions that are threatening the foundations of their legal and governance systems. Countries such as Cambodia, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and Thailand are undergoing regime change, political turmoil, and authoritarian surges that challenge the tenets contained within their respective constitutions. While specific conditions and events across countries vary, the collective trends reflect significant struggles in upholding principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law. These issues are not only confined to the more stable democracies; they are also emerging in democratising countries. Asia therefore presents an interesting laboratory for investigating and theorising the constitutional struggles that have developed and evolved in the region.
The project underpinning this webinar seeks to explore the causes, complexities, and implications of constitutional struggles occurring in countries within the Asian region. To that end, it will consider a range of questions including: What are the nature and scale of the threats to constitutionalism? What are the linkages to broader contextual issues affecting constitutional understanding? In what ways are the current constitutional struggles similar to or different from the past? How are concepts of constitutionalism changing? What are the normative concerns associated with these constitutional threats? What are the implications of current constitutional crises, either for individually affected countries, the Asian region, or partners outside the region?