Photo of Paul J. Davidson

Paul J. Davidson

Professor Emeritus

Degrees:B.Eng., LL.B., LL.M., Ph.D., of the Bar of Ontario


My current research involves an examination of the international legal frameworks involved in regulating international economic relations, and their relationship to the broader concept of “governance” of international economic relations, particularly “rules-based” governance, and the role of “soft” law. This includes an examination of the WTO framework and the role of Regional Trading Arrangements. Of particular interest are the evolving frameworks for regulating international economic relations in the Asia-Pacific region, e.g., the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

Teaching Interests

International economic law: International economic law comprises both elements of public international law and private international law, and I am interested in both aspects: the role played by international economic law in regulating international economic activity; and, the legal considerations involved in doing business internationally, including an examination of the private international law affecting the international sale of goods and international investment.

Professor Davidson was a Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore, in 1982-83, where he taught commercial law and international business transactions; and a Research Fellow in Canada-Southeast Asia Relations, at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, in 1992-93. He has presented papers at a number of international conferences in Asia and elsewhere, and has lectured on various aspects of Canadian Law and international economic law in several countries, including Taiwan and the PRC.

Selected Publications

“The Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement – Legal Issues”, (2011) Volume 29 Chinese (Taiwan) Yearbook of International Law and Affairs, pp.44-69 (published in 2013).

“The Role of International Law in the Governance of International Economic Relations in ASEAN”, (2008) 12 Singapore Year Book of International Law, pp.213-224 (published in 2010).

“Governance Issues in NAFTA”, a paper given at the Canada-ASEAN Forum – Regional Economic Integration: ASEAN and Canadian Perspectives, held at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 25-26 November 2008, in ASEAN-Canada Forum 2008 (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2010), Report Series No. 9 of the ISEAS ASEAN Studies Centre, pp.63-86.

“The Legal Framework for Korea’s Regional Trading Arrangements”, Taiwanese Journal of WTO Studies XV, 2010, pp. 1-38.

“China and the Dispute Settlement System of the WTO”, Taiwanese Journal of WTO Studies XII, 2009, pp.1-40.

“The Role of Soft Law in the Governance of International Economic Relations in Asia”, (2006) Volume 24 of the Chinese (Taiwan) Yearbook of International Law and Affairs, pp.1-18 (published in January 2009).

“International Law and the Role of APEC in the Governance of Economic Cooperation within the Asia Pacific region”, (2008) Vol.13, No.24 Cuadernos de Difusion, pp.47-57 (the publishing arm of the Peruvian network of APEC Study Centres).

“The Role of Law in Governing Regionalism in Asia”, a paper given at the Workshop on Governance and Regionalism in Asia, Centre of Asian Studies, The University of Hong Kong, 8-9 December 2005, Chapter 9 in Nicholas Thomas (ed.), Governance and Regionalism in Asia (Routledge, 2008), pp. 224-249.

“The Legal Framework for RTAs/FTAs in the Asia-Pacific Region”, in P. Satyanarayana Prasad, ed., RTA’s & FTA’s – Legal Perspectives, Hyderabad, India: The Icfai University Press, 2007, pp.113-133.

ASEAN – The Evolving Legal Framework for Economic Cooperation, Singapore: Times Academic Press, 2002.

The Legal Framework for International Economic Relations: ASEAN and Canada, Singapore: the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1997, pp.xii, 200. This is the result of research done while at ISEAS in Singapore from 1992-1993.

“Institutional requirements of ASEAN with special reference to AFTA – Commentary”, in Pearl Imada and Seiji Naya, eds., AFTA The Way Ahead, Singapore: the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1992, pp.139-142.

Professor Davidson is also the editor of Trading Arrangements in the Pacific Rim. This is a loose-leaf publication, which contains comments and documentation on trading arrangements of various organizations involved in structuring economic relations in the Pacific Rim. This started as a two-volume set in 1995, and has evolved into a five-volume set, which is currently published by Thomson Reuters.