Washington International Law Journal


Ying Khai Liew


Since its introduction in East Asia over a century ago, trust law has seen much development, refinement, and domestic transformation. However, the treatment of trusts in private international law is severely underdeveloped. Due to the lack of comprehensive and dedicated choice of law rules in East Asia regarding trusts, there is much uncertainty in how forum courts treat cross-border trust disputes. This treatment derogates from a proper recognition of the trust as a distinctive legal device and fails to properly protect the autonomy and legitimate expectations of certain parties. Worse still, it puts East Asia out of step with most jurisdictions that actively use trusts. This is a regrettable situation in an increasingly globalized world, where incidences of cross-border trust disputes are on the rise. Ultimately, legislators in East Asian jurisdictions ought to consider enacting or reforming their choice of law rules to develop a comprehensive set of trust rules based on the Hague Trusts Convention.

First Page