Introduction: Asian courts in context: Tradition, transition and globalization

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The recent rise of Asia in both economic and political power has attracted wide attention. Since World War II, economic development in Asia has surpassed that of many countries in other regions. First was the rapid economic recovery of Japan in the 1960s, followed by the miraculous economic growth of the four Asian tigers or dragons – South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore – in the 1980s. This economic miracle has continued into the first decade of the twenty-first century despite the global economic recession. China, India, Indonesia and Thailand, as well as many other Asian states, have become some of the fastest growing economies of the world. With the economic decline of the West, the rise of the Asian market has shifted the world’s economic center of gravity towards Asia. Politically, Asia has also undergone profound transformations. An unprecedented number of Asian states have transitioned into constitutional democracies. Japan adopted a postwar democratic constitution in 1946, followed by India in 1949. Following a similar trajectory to that of the West centuries earlier, a strong wave of democratization swept over Asia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1987, both South Korea and the Philippines adopted new constitutions. Mongolia adopted a new constitution in 1992. Taiwan undertook seven rounds of constitutional revisions in the 1990s and 2000s, while Indonesia proceeded with four stages of constitutional reform between 1999 and 2002. Thailand created a new constitution in 1997 and again in 2007. Among these, some, such as India, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, have successfully embraced vibrant democracies, while others have continued to face varying degrees of difficulties and challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAsian Courts in Context
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages74
ISBN (Electronic)9781107588813
ISBN (Print)9781107066083
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


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