Faculty & Staff



Professor of Law
Director, Center for Korean Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa


LLB, Seoul National University
LLM, Notre Dame Law School
JSD, Notre Dame Law School


Dr. Tae-Ung Baik is Professor of Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is Director of the Center for Korean Studies at the University. His teaching subjects include international human rights law, comparative law, international criminal law, and Korean law. He joined the law school in 2011 after teaching at the Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada for seven years since 2003 as assistant professor and Director of the Korean Legal Studies program. He was selected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) in 2015 and served as member , Vice-Chair (2018-2020), and Chair-Rapporteur (2020-2021) until 2022 reviewing the enforced disappearance cases submitted to the United Nations by the States and the families of the victims or civil society organizations. He is a member of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative Advisory Council, a project of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis to establish the world’s first treaty on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity.

Dr. Baik received his first law degree (LL.B.) from Seoul National University College of Law. He earned his Master of Law (LL.M.) and Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D.) degrees from Notre Dame Law School in the U.S. He was admitted to the Bar as an attorney-at-law in the State of New York. He worked at Human Rights Watch in New York in 2001-02 as a research intern and later as a research consultant with a focus on human rights problems in both North and South Koreas. He had conducted research on human rights issues as a Visiting Scholar at the East Asian Legal Studies program at Harvard Law School from 2002-2003. He served the South Korean Delegation to the 56th United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights as a legal adviser in 2004. During his sabbatical in Fall 2017, he was invited to visit the Law Research Institute, Seoul National University as a Visiting Fellow, and, in Fall 2024, he is invited to visit as Visiting Scholar at Korea University School of Law in South Korea.

Professor Baik was engaged in the democracy movement against the military dictatorship in the 1980-90s in South Korea. He is still widely involved in human rights advocacy projects. His book, “Emerging Regional Human Rights Systems in Asia,” was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. The translated and updated version of this book was published in Korea by Changbi Publishers Inc. entitled “Seeking the Human Rights Community in Asia” in 2017, which received 2017 Book of Peace Award by the IPUS, Seoul National University, subsequently being selected as 2018 Excellent Academic Book by the National Academy of Sciences, Republic of Korea.


  • Seeking The Human Rights Communicty in Asia (Asia Ingwon Gongdongchereul Chajaseo: Jiyok Ingwon Chejeeui Baljeongua Jeonmang 아시아인권공동체를 찾아서: 지역인권체제의 발전과 전망) (Changbi Publishers Inc. 2017) [revised edition of Emerging Regional Human Rights Systems in Asia in Korean language]
    • Received 2017 Book of Peace Award by the IPUS, Seoul National University
    • Selected as 2018 Excellent Academic Book by the National Academy of Sciences, Republic of Korea
  • Establishing Northeast Asian Network to Enhance the Human Rights Protection in Criming Process (Hyeongsajeolchasang Inkwonbojang Jeungjineul Uihan Dongbukajiyeok Hyeopryeokchegye Guchukbangan 형사정책상 인권보장증진을 위한 동북아지역협력체계) (Korean Institute of Criminology, 2015) [with Han-Kyun Kim and Jee-Young Yun].
  • Emerging Regional Human Rights Systems in Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • The Dream of Korean Socialist Movement (Namhan Sahoijueuijaeui kkum남한사회주의자의 꿈), (Friend-of-Labor Publishing Co., 1992).

Journal Articles

  • Book Review: Human Rights and Transnational Democracy in South Korea. By Ingu Hwang (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022. 360p. $55.00 cloth.), 23(3) Perspectives on Politics 1(2024)
  • Korean Public Legal Awareness Survey and Possibility of Globalization of Research Methodology (Hanguk Gukminbeobeuisik Siltaejosa Mit Josabangbeoproneui Segyehwa Ganeungseong 한국 국민법의식 실태조사 및 조사방법론의 세계화가능성), 23-23-2 National Legal Consciousness Issue Paper 1 (2023)
  • Recommendations for a Ratification of the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (UN Gangjesiljong Bangji Hyeobyak Bijuneul uihan Jeeon 유엔강제실종방지협약 비준을 위한 제언), 189 Justice 541 (2022).
  • The Fifty Years of CKS and the Future for Korean Studies, 10 KAUPA Letters No.2 89 (2022)
  • The Many Challenges in Fighting against Enforced Disappearances in Asia, 6 Melbourne Asia Review (2021).
  • Legal Framework for Inter-Korean Exchanges and Cooperation (Nambuk Ganeui Gyoryu Hyeopryeokeui Beobjeok Gibane Gwanhayeo 남북간의 교류협력의 법적 기반에 관하여), 18 International Korean Studies (Gukjekoreahak) 49 (2020).
  • Non-judicial Punishments of Political Offenses in North Korea – With a Focus on Kwanriso, 64 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW 891 (2016). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Book Review: The Massacres at Mt. Halla: Sixty Years of Truth Seeking in South Korea, 75 JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES 853 (2016). ScholarSpace
  • Case Commentary: Undocumented Workers May Establish Trade Unions in South Korea, 2 INTERNATIONAL LABOR RIGHTS CASE LAW 162 (2016). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • False Statements of Fact under the Public Official Election Act and the Principles of Reckless Disregard of Material Facts (Gongjikseongeobeopsang Heouisasil Gongpyowa Mipiljeok Goeuieui Beopri 공직선거법상 허위사실공표와 미필적 고의의 법리), 49 KOREAN JOURNAL OF LAW AND SOCIETY (BEOPGUA SAHOI) 271 (2015).
  • Stabilizing Democracy and Human Rights Systems in South Korea, 35 UNIVERSITY OF HAWAIʻI LAW REVIEW 877 (2013). HeinOnlineScholarSpace
  • Fairness in Transitional Justice Initiatives: The Case of South Korea, 19 BUFFALO HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW 169 (2013). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Social Healing Through Justice: Jeju 4.3 Case, 2 WORLD ENVIRONMENT AND ISLAND STUDIES 59 (2012). ScholarSpace
  • Easing Tension in East Asia and Transforming the Region into a Peaceful and Cooperative Community (Ginjangsogeui Dong Asiareul Pyeonghwahyeopryukeui Gongdongchero 긴장속의 동아시아를 평화협력의 공동체로), 49 LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE 33 Oct. 2012 (2012).
  • The Historical Development of Early Korean Immigration to Hawaii and its Legal Structure, 11 JOURNAL OF KOREAN LAW 77 (2011) [with Duk Hee Lee Murabayashi]. HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • Legal System on Earthquake and Tsunami in Canada (Canada eui jijin, haeil mit huasan guancheuk guanryun beopje 캐나다의 지진 해일 및 화산관측관련 법제), 60 KOREA LAW REVIEW (KOREA BEOPHAK) 115 (2011) [with Jewan Kim].
  • Cooperative Approach for Implementation of International Norms (Gukje gyubeom jibhaengehseo hyupryukjeok guangyeeui jungyoseong 국제규범집행에서의 협력적 관계의 중요성), 55 KOREAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (GUKJEBEOPHAKHOE NONCHONG), vol 4. 13 (2010).
  • A Discussion for the Amendment of the Korean Civil Code: Statutory Limitation Provisions and Related Issues (Kwonri haengsa giganeh guanhan jaengjeomgua minbeop gaejeong bangan 권리행사기간에 관한 쟁점과 민법개정방안), 50 KOREAN JOURNAL OF CIVIL LAW (MINSABEOPHAK) 1 (2010) [with Jewan Kim and Kyung-Il Paek].
  • The Human Rights Lawsuits in the United States-Focusing on the Comfort Women Case (Migukehseoui inkwon sosong- ilbongun wianbu sageoneul jungsimeuro 미국에서의 인권소송-일본군위안부사건을 중심으로), 43 KOREA LAW REVIEW (KOREA BEOPHAK) 327 (2004).
  • A War Crime against an Ally’s Civilians: The No Gun Ri Massacre, 15 NOTRE DAME JOURNAL OF LAW, ETHICS & PUBLIC POLICY 455 (2001). HeinOnline | ScholarSpace

Book Chapters

  • Regional Human Rights Arrangements, in The Oxford Handbook of Constitutional Law in Asia (Oxford Univ. Press, 2024).
  • The Victims of Crimes against Humanity and the 1965 Settlement Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Korea (Ilejeha Banindobeomjoi Pihaejaua 1965 Han Il Chongugwon Hyupjeong 일제하 반인도적범죄 피해자와 1965 한일청구권협정), in Going Beyond the San Francisco System (San Francisco chejereul neomeoseo 샌프란시스코 체제를 넘어서) (476-96 (Young-ho Kim ed., Medichi, 2022).
  • Human Rights Advocacy in the Time of Nuclear Stalemate: The Interrelationship Between Pressuring North Korea on Human Rights and Denuclearization, in The North Korean Conundrum 143-56 (Robert King & Gi-Wook Shin eds., Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford Univ., 2022).
  • Asia and Pacific, in Global Report on Missing Persons 2021, 84-98 (Andreas Kleiser ed., ICMP, 2021).
  • Overview of the Report on Enforced Disappearances in the Context of Migration, in MIGRATIONS, STATE OBLIGATIONS AND RIGHTS INA GLOBALIZED CONTEXT 99 (Global Studies Institute, 2019)
  • North Korean Human Rights and its Legal Systems (Bukhaninqwongua Beobjedo 북한인권과 법제도), in NORTH KOREAN HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES BRIEF (Bukhaninkwon Issue Brief 북한인권이슈브리프) (2016).
  • Human Rights Cooperation in East Asia, in GLOBAL SOCIETY AND HUMAN RIGHTS PROBLEMS (グロバル 社会と人権問題) 16 (Akasi Book, 2014; revised 2nd ed., 2016).
  • Legal Receptions and Resistance: Death Penalty and International Human Rights Norms in Korea, in THE GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS OF KOREAN LAW 57 (Korea Legislation Research Institute, 2014).
  • Human Rights Cooperation in East Asia (DongAsia ehseoeui inkwonhyeopryeok 동아시아에서의 인권협력), in COOPERATION AND CHALLENGES OF THE ASIA PACIFIC ERA (Korean Global Foundation ed., Urisidae, 2013).
  • Public Interest Litigation in Korea, in PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION IN ASIA (Po Jen Yap & Holning Lau eds., London, Routledge, 2010).
  • A STUDY ON REORGANIZATION OF FOOD-RELATED LAW STRUCTURE (Sikpumguanryunbop chegye gaepyuneul uihan gicho yeongu 식품관련법체계 개편을 위한 기초연구) (KREI, 2008) [with Gyeim Lee et al.]
  • Justice Incomplete: The Remedy for the Victims of Jeju April Third Incident, in RETHINKING HISTORICAL INJUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION IN NORTHEAST ASIA: THE KOREAN EXPERIENCE IN REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE (Shin et al. eds., London: Routledge, 2007).
  • Asia: The Reality of Human Rights, in THE ESSENTIALS OF HUMAN RIGHTS (Rhona K. M. Smith and Christien van den Anker, eds., Hodder Arnold, 2006).
  • The Nature of South Korean Society and the Tasks of Labor Movement, in THE DEBATES ON NEW COLONIAL STATE MONOPOLY CAPITALISM (Namhan sahoieui seonkyukgwa nodongja gyegeupeui immu 남한사회의 성격과 노동자계급의 임무, in SINSIKMINJI GUKKA DOKJEOM JABONJUEUI NONJAENG 신식민지국가독점자본주의논쟁) (Lee Jinkyung ed., Pyori Pub. Co.,1988).

Research Projects and Other Publications

  • The Korean Pacific Magazine & The Korean Pacific Weekly 태평양잡지 태평양주보 (1913-1970) E-Collection (University of Hawaii Center for Korean Studies, 2023)
  • The United Korean News (Shinhangukbo 신한국보) & Korean National Herald (Kookminbo 국민보) (1909-1968) ) E-Collection (University of Hawaii Center for Korean Studies, 2022)
  • Earthquake, Tsunami and Volcanic Hazard Reduction Systems in the United States Migukeui Jijin Jijinhaeil Hwasaneh Daehan Daeeung Chegyeeh Guanhan Yeongu 미국의 지진지진해일 화산에 대한 대응 체계에 관한 연구(2013).
  • Op-ed columns, Column Sesangilki 세상읽기(reading the world), The Hankyoreh (May 20, 2013- April 21, 2014). Published columns every three weeks at The Hankyoreh, one of the major daily newspapers in South Korea. In 2011-2012, three op-ed columns were published, and, during Aug. 12, 1999- Dec.27, 1999, 18 op-ed columns were published.
  • The Status of Korean Law in the World Community [Segyeosogeui Hangukpeopeui Uisang 세계속의 한국법의 위상], Byeobyeon 28 (2013).  Beobyeon is the monthly magazine published by Korean Legislation and
    Research Institute (KLRI).
  • A Study on Lawyer Referral Services (Byunhosa Junggaejedo Yeongu 변호사 중개제도 연구) (Korea University Law Institute, 2012) with Jewan Kim and Tae-ih Kim [submitted to ROK Ministry of Justice].
  • Limitation Period: A Research on the Statute of Limitations and the Period of Exclusion (Kwonri haengsa gigan: somyulsihyowa jecheokgiganeoi guanhan yeongu 권리행사기간: 소멸시효와 제척기간에 관한 연구) (2009) with Jewan Kim and Kyung-Il Paek [submitted to ROK Ministry of Justice].
  • The Invisible Exodus: North Koreans in the People’s Republic of China, Human Rights Watch, November 2002 Vol. 14, No. 8 (C) (2002) with Dinah Pokempner and Mike Jendrzejczyk.

Recent Presentations

  • UN Human Rights Mechanism and Right to a Remedy of Victims of Enforced Disappearance, UN Office, Seoul (2/21/24)

  • Forced Third Party Payment by South Korean Government for the Damages for the Forced Labor Victims’ Lawsuits, Korea University (1/17/24)

  • Comfort Women and Enforced Disappearances during the Pacific War, Korea University (12/15/23)
  • High Court Decision on Comfort Women: Implication on International Human Rights Community, Korea Council (12/20/23)
  • South Korea’s Ratification of CED and Legislation of an Implementation Law, Korean Bar Association (10/11/23)
  • Implementation of CED in South Korea and the Overseas Examples, Korean National Human Rights Commission (9/5/23)
  • Rights of Victims of Enforced Disappearance in International Law, Seoul UN Office (8/30/23)
  • Criminal Justice and Human Rights in Korea, Paul K. Ryu Foundation, CKS (8/25/23)
  • Transitional Justice and Human Rights in Korea, Seoul National University (8/10/23)
  • Human Rights and Sustainable Development, Hallym University (7/19/23)
  • What Needs to Be Done for Promoting Korean Law in the World, K-Law Forum, KLRI (6/13/23)
  • Inter-Korean Relations, PAAC, East-West Center (6/6/23)
  • People’s Everyday Lives and Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of  Korea, Dongguk Univ. (5/10/23)
  • South Korea’s Ratification of the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED), Societas Koreana Lecture Meeting, Academy of Korean Studies (5/9/23)
  • Hawaii Should Play a Key Role in Promoting Peace and Cooperation between the US and Korea in Northeast Asia, CKS and East-West Center (5/2/23)
  • The Korean National Association (KNA) and the Hawaii Regional Conference: Local Governments for the Stateless, Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference (3/23/23)
  • My Work at the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, Hawaiian Bar Association International Law Section (11/15/22)
  • Asian Civil Society’s Cooperation for the Realization of Transitional Justice, May 18 Foundation (10/5/22)
  • UN, Human Rights, and International Relations, Academy of Korean Studies (7/7/22)
  • The Victims of Crimes against Humanity and the 1965 Settlement Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Korea, Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference (3/26/22).
  • Status of Korean Studies in North America, Yonsei Univ. Institute for the Study of Korean Modernity (12/21/21).
  • Recommendations for a Ratification of the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, Ministry of Justice of ROK & Korean Society of Law (12/16/21).
  • UN’s Efforts to Eradicate Enforced Disappearances, Notre Dame Law School (11/6/21); Hansung University (11/12/21); ChungAng University (11/24/21).
  • Human Rights in the World: UN’s Efforts to Eradicate Enforced Disappearances, Sungkyunkwan Univ. Law School, Webinar (10/18/21).
  • International Human Rights Law- Torture Convention, KOKUN (Korea Center for United Nations Human Rights Policy), Webinar (10/12/21).
  • Interrelationship between the Issues of Human Rights and Denuclearization in North Korea, Ministry of Unification of ROK (7/14/21).
  • Comparative Characteristics of South Korean Real Property Law, Korean Legislative and Research Institute (7/9/21)
  • Human rights and democratic regression in Asia, Asia Institute, Melbourne University, Webinar (6/3/21).
  •  The Meaning of the Decision of South Korean Supreme Court on the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery, The Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance, Webinar (1/28/21).
  • Ratification of International Human Rights Treaty and Implementation Law (Convention on Enforce Disappearances), K-Law Forum 2020, KLRI (11/20/20).
  • Seventy Year of No Gun Ri Incidents, Its Legal Meaning and Lessons, No Gun Ri Global Peace Forum (11/12/20).
  • Human Rights Advocacy in Time of Nuclear Stalemates – Interrelationship between Pushing North Korea on Human Rights and on Denuclearization, The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University (6/18/20).
  • Forty years between hope and despair: The right to truth and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, UN Side event hosted by Croatia and Switzerland (2/7/20)
  • Asian Civil Society and Human Rights- With focus on the Regional Human Rights Systems in Asia, Korea Peace Forum (11/10/19)
  • Crimes against Humanity and the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Korea and Japan, Beyond San Francisco Treaty System Conference (11/9/19)
  • Legal Framework for Inter-Korean Exchanges and Cooperation, The 14th ISKS Conference (8/20/19)
  • Teaching Korean Law in the United States, SNU School of Law (7/29/19)
  • International Human Rights Law and Jeju 4.3 – Truth, Justice, Responsibility, and Social Healing, The UN Symposium on Human Rights and Jeju April 3rd, Jeju 4.3 Peace Foundation (6/20/19)
  • Korean Criminal Justice in a Globalizing World, Korean Institute of Criminology (5/31/19)
  • International Human Rights Law and Jeju 4.3, The 8th Jeju 4.3 Peace forum, Jeju 4.3 Peace Foundation (12/18/18)
  • Human Rights Norms, Institutions, and Enforcement in Reality — With a Focus on Enforced Disappearances, The the World Issues Forum, Western Washington University (11/14/18)
  • Present and the Future of the Relations between South and North Koreas, and the United States, National Unification Advisory Council-Hawaii (10/26/18)
  • Contact at All Levels: The Legal Framework for Inter-Korean Exchanges, K-Law Forum, Columbia Law School (8/28/18)
  • International Human Rights Law and Enforced Disappearances: Focus on Asia, Korea and the UN Human Rights Council Working Group, Annual Dr. N.H. Paul Chung Memorial Lecture, Pacific Asian Management Institute, UH Shidler College of Business (8/2/18)
  • Penal Process, the Rule of Law, and Human Rights Systems in DPRK, CU Conference, UHM (4/5/18)

Journal Editors, etc.

  • Member of Editorial Board, The International Journal of Criminal Justice (2019-present)
  • Member of Editorial Advisory Committee, Journal of Human Rights Studies (2023-present)
  • Member of Editorial Board, Anam Law Review, Korea University (2019-present)
  • Member of Editorial Board, Yonsei Law Journal (2016-present)
  • Member of Editorial Board, Korea International Law Review (2013-present)
  • Member of Editorial Board, Journal of East Asia and International Law (2007-2020)
  • Member of Board of Reviewers, The Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law (2014-2018)
portrait photo


Phone: (808) 956-7838
Fax: (808) 956-5569
Phone: (808) 956-7041



By Appointment