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ALAP…The Asian Labor Arbitration Project:

Advancing the rule of law in the workplace…encouraging alternatives to work stoppages

The Asian Labor Arbitration Project at Cornell University is a preeminent multi-disciplinary research center, providing education, training, and consulting services concerning workplace dispute resolution in eastern Asia

The Project broadly defines our scope to include internal workplace conflict systems, facilitation, mediation and arbitration of workplace disputes 

For purposes of our research, the Project divides up eastern Asia into two segments: industrializing countries (for example, China, Vietnam and Cambodia) and industrialized countries (for example, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines)
Current Research Priorities

  • We are researching the history, attributes, structural fairness, and outcomes of the current China labor arbitration system
  • We are studying the history, attributes, structural fairness, and outcomes of the existing Cambodia Labor Arbitration Center
  • We have completed three years of research in Vietnam and are consulting with stakeholders in potential design of a private labor arbitration capability

Social Policy Objectives

  • Promote the rule of law in the workplace
  • Promote access to the justice system
  • Promote industrial peace
  • Provide an alternative to worker stoppages


The Asian Labor Arbitration Project promotes multi-disciplinary research, education, and training concerning workplace dispute resolution in eastern Asia.

In support of its mission, the principal activities involve:

  • To establish a global repository of knowledge concerning labor and employment mediation and arbitration in eastern Asia.
  • To conduct focused research, provide consulting services, and host regional conferences in Asia
  • To publish country and/or regional reports on workplace dispute resolution, issue an arbitral fairness index, and offer colloquium seminars
  • To offer research and publishing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students
  • To align current code of social responsibilities (CSR) with workplace dispute resolution
  • To collaborate with existing China and Asian scholars, US government agencies, and other academic institutions

Project Leadership

Mr. Richard Fincher, Mediator and Labor Arbitrator
Instructor of Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, Cornell University 
Mr. Fincher is a Lecturer in the Scheinman Institute. At Cornell University, he has trained hundreds of mediators and labor arbitrators, and has unique expertise in the substantive and procedural development of labor arbitrators. He co-founded the Student Arbitration Clinical Competition, and serves on the Scheinman Advisory Board. He is a Scholar on labor arbitration in eastern Asia, primarily Vietnam. Mr. Fincher has served as a visiting law professor at Hamline University College of Law, University of California at Davis School of Law, and the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law at Arizona State University

From 2009-2012, Mr. Fincher served as the USAID Consultant for Workplace Dispute Resolution with the National Industrial Relations Project in Vietnam. He is the subject-matter expert and a published author for workplace dispute resolution in Vietnam. Mr. Fincher is employed as a full-time mediator and labor arbitrator, and is also an elected member of the National Academy of Arbitrators. He holds a license to practice law in several states.

Mr. Rocco Scanza, Mediator and Labor Arbitrator
Executive Director of Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, Cornell University 
Mr. Scanza currently serves as the Executive Director of the Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University. In this capacity, he has built an institution of national prominence in ADR, and has taught hundreds of promising mediators and arbitrators.

Mr. Scanza has unique expertise in the recruitment, selection, training, compensation, and administrative management of mediators and labor arbitrators. He previously served as the National Vice-Present of Neutrals Relations for the American Arbitration Association. He holds a license to practice law in several states.

Advisory Faculty
David Lipsky, ILR Anne Evans Estabrook Professor of Dispute Resolution
Eli Friedman, ILR Assistant Professor, China Scholar
Lance Compa, ILR Senior Lecturer, International Labor Rights Scholar  

Institutional Partners   
Seth Gurgel, Shanghai Research Fellow
US-Asia Law Institute at NYU Law School

Patrick McDermott
Professor of Legal Studies and Management Franklin P. Perdue School of Business
Director of Research and Evaluation Center for Conflict Resolution
Salisbury University, Maryland

Contact us:
Western US Office
Richard Fincher, ALAP Director, 602-953-5322, or RDF53@Cornell.edu
Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution
3420 East Shea Blvd, Suite 200
Phoenix, Az 85028
Ithaca Office
Rocco Scanza, 607-255-1124, or rms43@cornell.edu
Executive Director, Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution
457 ILR Research Building
Ithaca, New York 14853-3901

The project acknowledges the diligent efforts of several undergraduate and law students for their research and contributions with each country analysis. The students are:

American Research Assistants
Julia Pascuzzo, Cornell Law
Daniel O”Brien, ILR
Yiqing Zhao, Arts and Sciences
Elizabeth Li, ILR

International Research Assistants
Ha Nguyen, University of Minnesota College of Business (Vietnam)
Anh Tran, Michigan State University, Humphreys Scholar (Vietnam)

The Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution is...
...the nation's only program of study that targets conflict resolution in the workplace...interdisciplinary education, research and training in dispute resolution for students, academics, neutrals and practitioners....a continuation of Cornell ILR School's proud tradition of instruction in the practical use of conflict resolution skills in the workplace....committed to promoting diversity, cross-cultural understanding and equal opportunities.

ALAP is sponsored by the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University, copyright 2013



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