National Security in International Law: An Asia-Pacific Perspective


National security plays an indispensable role in international law and relations. While national security or similar terms are mentioned in a number of international treaties, individual states often define and defend their own interpretations of national security. In recent years, national security is frequently cited by states to justify policies and acts, and has quickly become a major point of international debates. For instance, China’s national security law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has become a major flashpoint for international debate. In addition, national security is also used as a legal defense in international trade and investment law. Furthermore, many states have recently tightened screening of foreign investments, citing national security as a justification. Such developments give rise to various issues of practical and academic significance. Against such a background, a group of leading experts will discuss the contentious issue of national security in different fields of international law from an Asia-Pacific perspective, and to explore whether and to what extent a common norm of “national security” could be achieved by the international community. 


  • Diane Desierto, Notre Dame University, United States
  • Manjiao Chi, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, Moderator
  • Yuka Fukunaga, Law School, Waseda University, Japan
  • Prabhash Ranjan, Law School, South Asian University, India
  • Simon Young, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, Hong Kong

This session is organized by ASIL's Asia-Pacific Interest Group.

Date and Location

Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 8:00am to 9:30am