This course provides a critical introduction to the institutions and actors that comprise the Japanese legal system. Topics covered include the legal profession, formal and informal dispute resolution mechanisms, employment law, corporate law and governance, and economic regulation. Major theoretical debates about the role of law in Japan are examined in connection with each substantive topic. Throughout the course, law is placed within the context of Japanese social, political, and economic institutions. During the last several weeks of the semester, Visiting Professors from the University of Tokyo lead the class on topics related to their individual fields of expertise.
All class materials and instruction are in English; Japanese language ability and knowledge of Japan, while helpful, are not prerequisites. The grade for the course is based on a proctored examination, a short paper, and class performance. Class participation is required of all students.
NOTE: The textbook is The Japanese Legal System: Cases, Codes and Commntary (Milhaupt, C.J., Ramseuer, J.M., and West, M.D.). A 2nd edition will be available in early-mid January 2012, and the new edition will be used for the course: ISBN: 9781609300296. Students should wait to purchase the 2nd edition.