The Use of International Laws on Non-Citizen Rights Cases in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan

Influenced by the global political and economic constellation, courts in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have more opportunities to address non-citizen rights issues through the lens of international laws. This paper is aimed at analyzing how courts in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan strategically use international laws to address the rights of foreigners, what functions that the judicial use of international laws has to enhance the protection of non-citizens and what driving forces encourage or limit the courts to use international laws. The paper argues the use of international human rights laws in alien rights cases has two functions: to offer persuasive arguments for the protection of alien rights and to place a benchmark for future legislation revisions. The emergence of the international human rights regime and the collaboration between local and transnational rights advocacy are major driving forces to shape judicial use of international laws in the cases of foreign nationals.