Discussion Papers

No.739 Domestic Socio-Legal Structure and International Cooperation: The Case of Professional Service Integration

by Shintaro Hamanaka and Sufian Jusoh

February 2019


This paper demonstrates that domestic socio-legal structure significantly affects the countries’ preferred form of international cooperation, using case studies of international cooperation on professional service regulations. Countries with a civil law tradition places value on written rules and certainty, and paper examinations serve as a core of competency assessment for professionals. Hence, these countries’ preferred approach to international cooperation in the sphere of professional regulation is the international harmonization of paper examinations. In contrast, countries with a common law tradition regard the track-record of performance as key for assessing competence, and thus place an emphasis on the completion of the coursework and survival in market competition. These countries’ preferred approach to international cooperation is mutual recognition of foreign qualifications. Then, what will happen when civil and common law countries cooperate?

Keywords:international cooperation, domestic socio-legal structure, common law, civil law, mutual recognition, harmonization, Brexit

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