• Class Number 1628
  • Term Code 3020
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Kent Anderson
    • Prof Kent Anderson
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 03/02/2020
  • Class End Date 30/03/2020
  • Census Date 14/02/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/02/2020
SELT Survey Results

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.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. 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;
  2. Compare, contrast and reflect on their understanding of Japanese legal history and its contemporary legal system;
  3. Identify, explain and evaluate specific topics of Japanese Law;
  4. 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.

Research-Led Teaching

This course is taught by very research active lecturers, and practitioners, speaking to the specific areas of their research or practical work. A core component is the research essay portion of the assessment. In consultation with the lecturer you will select a topic of your interest to explore. Consultation will guide you in the scope of the subject you select and the material available in English to pursue that research topic. If a student has advanced Japanese skills, use of Japanese materials is encouraged; however, it is not expected nor will it receive extra credit.

Field Trips

The Kyoto and Tokyo Seminars comprise two week-long intensive courses on Japanese law. The theme of the Kyoto Seminar is the "globalisation" of Japanese law in a wide range of subject areas, including civil and criminal justice, gender and the law, public law and some aspects of business regulation. The theme of the Tokyo Seminar is Japanese corporate and commercial law, analysing how law both reflects and has transformed Japanese capitalism in the 21st century.


Both Seminars are specially offered to Ritsumeikan University and Australian Universities. The Seminars will give participants opportunities for class discussions. The Seminars do not require any previous knowledge in Japanese law or any facility with the Japanese language. All classes will be conducted in English.



Additional Course Costs

Ritsumeikan University has a modest materials fee.

Required Resources

The course materials will be available in electronic form on the course learning management page, which will be hosted by Ritsumeikan University. The address is http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/japanese-law/kyoto-seminar/. The material is behind a security barrier and you will be provided a sign-on password from Ritsumeikan before the course begins.

Kent Anderson and Trevor Ryan, Japan, in LAW AND LEGAL INSTITUTIONS IN ASIA (Ann Black and Gary Bell, eds, 2010).

For more detailed information see, Daniel Foote (ed.), LAW IN JAPAN: A TURNING POINT (2007).

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

Extensions late submission and penalties: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Further Information about the course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Day 1 - Campus Tour; Introduction to Japanese Legal System; Gender and Law
2 Day 2 - Politics and Constitutional Law; Government and Law; Arbitration and ADR
3 Day 3 - Working as International Attorneys in Japan: Bengoshi and Gaiben Perspectives
4 Day 4 - Civil Justice and Law; Contracts and Law; Consumers and Law
5 Day 5 - Criminal Justice and Law; Pop Culture and Law
6 Day 6 - Introduction to the Japanese Economy; Corporate Governance; Labour Law
7 Day 7 - Investment and Finance; Tax Law

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Attendance and Participation 10 % 12/02/2020 01/03/2020 1,2,3
Short Examination 30 % 12/02/2020 28/02/2020 1,2,3
Final Paper 60 % 16/03/2020 01/04/2020 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 12/02/2020
Return of Assessment: 01/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Attendance and Participation

Brief Description: Attendance and class participation in the course is a crucial aspect as the material is taught in a seminar format

Nature of Task: Compulsory.

Weighting: 10%

Due date: 12 February 2020

Estimated return date: 1 March 2020

Assessment Criteria: Attendance and class participation in the course is a crucial aspect as the material is taught in a seminar format. This portion of the course will generally be marked as follows:

  1. non-attendance—a student who did not attend or rarely attended or prepared [0-49%];
  2. attendance with little participation—a student who generally attended but contributed little [50-55%];
  3. satisfactory participation—this is the standard expected of students and involves regular attendance, being prepared, and participation when called upon. [56%-79%]; and
  4. superlative participation—this mark is reserved for those students that contribute significantly to the discussion and level of dialog in class, it requires nearly perfect attendance, thorough familiarity with the assigned material, evidence of reflection on the material, and proactive involvement in discussion [80%-100%].

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 12/02/2020
Return of Assessment: 28/02/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Short Examination

Brief Description: To ensure the core-objective of this course, namely broad-based familiarity with comparative Japanese law, a Short Examination of up to 60 minutes for reading and writing will be given in class. The exam is cumulative of all material covered in the course. The exam will be closed-book, ten (10) short answer questions.

Nature of Task: This is compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task. Late submissions are not permitted for this assessment

Weighting 30%

Duration: 60 minutes

Release: 12 February 2020

Due date: 12 February 2020

Estimated return date: 28 February 2020

Assessment Criteria: This is a core knowledge based examination. Therefore, assessment is based on student’s ability to accurately identify and explain the core facts and concepts introduced in class.

  • Identify and explain key aspects of Japanese Law and Society;
  • Grammar and written expressions.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 16/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 01/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Final Paper

Brief Description: Students will write a paper of between 3,600-5,000 words on a subject they select in consultation with the lecturer.

Nature of Task: This is compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task. Late submission is accepted, however late penalties will apply.

Weighting: 60%

Word Limit: 3600-5000

Release: 12 February 2020

Due date: 5pm, 16 March 2020

Estimated return date: 1 April 2020

Assessment Criteria: The paper will be marked on:

a) Understanding of the Issues

  • addresses the question and covers all the important points
  • evidence of close consideration of the question and the research materials drawn on
  • issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified
  • material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively

b) Communication & Development of Argument

  • clear theme or argument
  • arguments logical and well-organised
  • ideas/paragraphs linked coherently

c) Argument/Analysis

  • originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material
  • complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas
  • suggestions for change where appropriate
  • interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate
  • addressing opposing arguments
  • well-reasoned conclusions

d) Research

  • research covering primary and secondary materials
  • good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used
  • use of theoretical material where appropriate
  • range of research sources
  • integration of material from research resources into the essay

e) Presentation, style and referencing

  • good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
  • clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation
  • adherence to word limit

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments that have been submitted to Wattle will be returned via the respective tool that they were submitted to within the course Wattle site.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Kent Anderson

Research Interests

Comparative Law (particularly with Japan), Commercial Law (particularly insolvency), Private International Law, and Law & Film

Prof Kent Anderson

By Appointment
By Appointment
Prof Kent Anderson
6125 3483

Research Interests

Prof Kent Anderson

By Appointment
By Appointment

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