Law in Japan

Program Report (2010)

From July 21st to August 3rd 2010 we held the ‘Meiji University Law in Japan Program,’ a summer law course which gives students an opportunity to participate in English-language lectures on Japanese law together with accompanying field trips.
Meiji University launched this project in summer 2009 as one of the new educational programs offered under the ‘Global 30 Project, ’which aims to establish Core Universities for internationalization.
In 2010, 17 participants from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, New Zealand and other countries joined this program. Eleven teachers, including 4 professors, 2 associate professors and 2 lecturers of Meiji University, gave lectures.
This two-week program covers major fields of Japanese law and legal institution such as Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Process, Civil Justice, Family Law, Law of Enterprises, Competition Law, Tax Law and International Law. Many contemporary topics in these fields were explained and discussed in each three hour long session. In addition, this program offers lectures on the Judicial System and the Legal Professions in its social, cultural and historical context so that students are able to appreciate the characteristics of Japanese law in a broader socio-cultural perspective.
Our program included field trips to the National Diet, the Supreme Court, Tokyo District Court (with a criminal trial in session), Tokyo Summary Court (with small debt proceedings in session), the Ministry of Justice Museum, law firms (comprising a leading Japanese, a smaller Japanese and a foreign law firm), the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, a prison, and the National Personnel Authority. Throughout the field trips, translations, commentaries and explanations were given by a member of the teaching staff. Participants could see with their own eyes how the Japanese legal system and legal insti-tutions operate, helping to develop a practical as well as theoretical understanding.
On the evening of 3rd August a farewell party was held on the 23rd floor of Liberty Tower, the main building of the university. Participants were awarded a certificate for finishing the program and talked enthusiastically about their experiences in Tokyo.
This program will be held next summer from 21st July to 3rd August 2011. The main purpose of this program is to offer to interested foreigners a chance to learn about Japanese law without the language barrier. For those who are interested in understanding Japanese law or Japanese society, this program would be an excellent foundation for further studies.