The Kyoto Seminar is a one-week intensive course conducted in Japan in February introducing the fundamentals of Japanese law at the graduate level. It offers a unique opportunity to study Japanese law in a global and socio-economic context.
The Kyoto Seminar project is run by Ritsumeikan University as part of a Japanese Ministry of Education special purpose grant for development of graduate programs in Japan. For more information on the Kyoto Seminar, see www.kyoto-seminar.jp.
The course aims to develop the general skills of comparative lawyers, to provide students with advanced knowledge and perspectives to understand and critically assess contemporary developments in Japanese law and society. The course incorporates seven three-hour lecture sessions taught in English jointly by Japanese legal experts (predominately from Ritsumeikan University Law School, one of the top private universities in Japan) and foreign comparative law experts (ANJeL co-directors). The course covers the basic history and structure of Japanese law; the role of law in Japanese society (eg, criminal justice, civil justice, and gender and the law); and a number of select issues in substantive Japanese law (eg, finance law, business law, and constitutional law)
Beyond the classroom, the course also includes field trips to the Kyoto District Court, the local bar association, and one outside legal institution. Furthermore, a large amount of the educational experience occurs in the exchange among the diverse students taking the course from different countries.
An introductory class will be held at the ANU College of Law prior to the commencement of the Seminar.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:This course aims to provide students with advanced knowledge and perspectives to understand current developments in Japanese law and society.
By the conclusion of this course, it is intended that students who have successfully completed all of the course requirements will be able to:
- Explain, distinguish and apply an integrated body of knowledge, sound understanding and appreciation of the social and cultural basis upon which the law operates in Japan;
- Compare, contrast and reflect on their understanding of Japanese legal history and its contemporary legal system;
- Identify, explain and evaluate specific topics of Japanese Law;
- Use technical comparative law techniques, apply cognitive and creative skills to plan and execute an in-depth, critical analysis and evaluation of contemporary issues of Japanese law through a substantive advanced legal research project.
Applications for this course open Aug/Oct the previous year.
Only 10 places in the program are reserved for ANU students. Applications will be considered by reference to academic merit and chronology (the order in which applications are received). Students will be informed of the outcome of their applications
Please note that submitting an application for the course and being accepted into the program does not actually mean you are enrolled officially in the course. After you have been accepted in the program, students are required to (1) lodge a separate application with Ritsumeikan Law School directly and (2) enrol in the course once summer school enrolment has opened.
Indicative AssessmentAssessment will likely consist of:
- Attendance and participation (10%)
- A short-question examination covering the material from entire course (30%)
- A research paper (60%, 4,000 words).
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
WorkloadBeyond the classroom, the course also includes field trips to a local district court, the local bar association, and one outside legal institution. Furthermore, a large amount of the educational experience occurs in the exchange among the diverse students taking the course from different countries.
Requisite and Incompatibility
You will need to contact the ANU Law School to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
Preliminary ReadingThe following introductory books are recommended for preliminary reading:
- Leon Wolff, Luke Nottage and Kent Anderson (eds), Who Rules Japan?: Popular Participation in the Japanese Legal Process (Edward Elgar, 2015)
- Masaki Abe and Luke Nottage, “Japan”, in Jan Smits (ed) Encylopedia of Comparative Law (2nd ed, Edward Elgar, 2012)
- Kent Anderson and Trevor Ryan, “Japan” in Ann Black and Gary Bell (eds) Law and Legal Institutions of Asia (CUP, 2011)
- Takao Tanase (Luke Nottage & Leon Wolff, trans and ed), Community and the Law: A Critical Reassessment of American Liberalism and Japanese Modernity (Edward Elgar, 2010)
- Hiroshi Oda, Japanese Law (3rd ed, OUP, 2009)
- Carl Goodman, The Rule of Law in Japan: A Comparative Analysis (2nd ed, Kluwer, 2008)
- Dan Foote (ed) Law in Japan: A Turning Point (University of Washington Press, 2007)
- Mark D West, Law in Everyday Japan. Sex, Sumo, Suicide, and Statutes (University of Chicago Press, 2005)
- Ramseyer, J. Mark, and Minoru Nakazato, Japanese Law: An Economic Approach, Studies in Law and Economics (University of Chicago Press, 1999)
- John O Haley, The Spirit of Japanese Law (University of Georgia Press, 1998).
Students must rely on the approved Course Study Guide which will be posted to the Wattle course site approximately 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.
An e-brick will be available on the Wattle course site.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.