Sep. 30, 2021
The School of Law hosts the Spring Online Program - Law and Society 2021
Apr. 20, 2021
A group photo of the participants with the lecturer and the Program Assistants.
From March 15 to 26, the School of Law hosted the “Spring Online Program - Law and Society 2021”. Nine law students and three students from other “schools” participated, for a total of 12 participants.
Since 2001, the School of Law has been running the University of Cambridge Corpus Christi College Summer Law Course. This year, the participants were joined online by its lecturer, and Program Assistants who are current students or alumni of the University of Cambridge. They spent 10 days learning in English about the effect things such as historical, social and cultural background, and political and socioeconomic conditions have on law establishment based on the theme of the relationship between law and the society in which we live.
The program used both on-demand videos and real-time Zoom. It included guest lectures by four law experts and discussions in small groups led by the Program Assistants based on the themes of seminars related to law and society, criminal trials, multi-parents families, environmental law in South America, and how the media interprets a ‘migration crisis’. The participants were also given a virtual tour of the University of Cambridge Corpus Christi College where the Summer Law Course is held.
In the guest lectures, which welcomed a practicing barrister as a guest, the lecturer and students exchanged opinions on the human rights of defendants. As the lecture developed, the students learnt about trials in England, such as how the seat position of the defendant and the gallery in court is different to Japan, and how some court cases have been delayed for 2 years because of the spread of COVID-19.
During the activity time with the Program Assistants, they showed a slideshow of photos from their lives on campus and explained about student life at Cambridge. Many of the participating students were surprised at the differences in campus life in Japan when they learnt that many Cambridge students live on campus in the student dormitories, or that part-time jobs are prohibited during the semester so that students can concentrate on their studies.
On the last day of the program, participants selected a theme they were interested in from the course content relating to Law and Society and each created a 10-minute video presentation.
The themes were wide-ranging, covering environmental issues, women’s rights, gender issues and racism. At the face-to-face study session held after the end of the program, the participants listened to the outstanding presentations, and received a Certificate of Completion from the program coordinator James Sharp, full-time lecturer at the School of Law, to complete the 2-week program.
〈Feedback from the Students〉
・ I want to work as an international lawyer in the future, so it was very helpful to my future to have contact with a foreign law as an undergraduate.
・ Even for a student like me who does not study law, it was an engaging program for anyone who has even a small interest in social issues. Through this program, I learnt that laws are directly connected with peoples’ everyday lives, and that law is essential to solving the social issues that exist in the world.
・ Since the procedures for criminal suits often become a problem even in Japan, the program covered something I have been interested in for a while - how the UK is working to protect human rights.
・ I had never studied anything about environmental law until now so it was a little difficult to follow, but after participating in the program, I started taking an interest in what kind of environmental measures companies are taking, and researching myself. The subjects that we learnt about during the program —for example, the pros and cons of introducing carbon tax, and the differences in measures taken between developed and developing countries – were all very interesting.
・ By studying foreign law, I was able to further deepen my understanding of the laws of my own country.
・ The whole program was designed around input, then discussion, and so every time I was able to polish my own ideas.
・ I did not expect to learn as much as I did online and so far away (from England).
・ This program gave me more motivation to study English and deepened my interest in social issues.
・ I felt the fun of learning something new, speaking English, listening to a class and communicating in English, so I thought I would like to try a long-term exchange program if I get the chance.
・ I was able to improve my listening and speaking skills as there were lots of chances for discussions in English.
・ The lecturers and the Program Assistants kindly listened to my poor English expressions, so I started to think that I want to speak proactively even if I make mistakes.