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Institute of Legal Studies

Legal studies are getting more complicated as a result of the socio-economic and international impact on legal systems. This situation requires well-organized cooperative studies by jurists, social scientists, and others. The main purpose of the Institute of Legal Studies, Kansai University (ILS, KU), founded in 1987, is to offer convenient opportunities for such joint research projects on recent complex legal and social problems.

Members of the ILS are mainly recruited from the faculties of the University, but the Institute also welcomes visiting fellows from other universities and the business world in and outside of Japan.

At present, the ILS is conducting four research projects:

  • (1) Review on the effects of the Japan-U.S. Structural Impediments Initiative: Follow-up study on the Japanese structural problems two decades after the signing of the SII
  • (2) Research on Local Sovereignty
  • (3) Research on state of emergency (Ausnahmezustand)
  • (4) Research on European Private Law

The ILS also holds seminars, symposia, and public lectures.

Periodicals which the ILS publishes are: Nomos (the integrated proceedings of symposia, seminars and special study meetings) and the ILS research report series.

In addition, from 2000 to 2005 we operated a large five-year project under the title "Global Financial Revolution and Law", after having received a grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology-Japan (MEXT). Many leading scholars and practitioners who came not only from Japan but from all corners of the world took part in this project, and great things were accomplished.

Furthermore, we established Center for Minority Studies (CMS) from 2008 to 2013 under a project "Research to Establish the Foothold of the Studies by MEXT". CMS operated a large five-year project which were approved by and received a grant from the MEXT.

A paper of this project approved by the government notes that through considering an idea of minority, its goal was to solve "the Nation and Society" that various people conceive. It was impossible to envision the picture of nation in the 21th century without facing the hidden issue of minority.

Periodicals which the CMS publishes were; Boundary (a newsletter, twice a year) and Minority Research (a journal, once a year).

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Outline

Director's Greeting

Prof. Tetsukazu
OKAMOTO
(Faculty of
Policy Studies)

The Institute of Legal Studies(ILS) of Kansai University was first established in Uichi Iwasaki Memorial Hall in 1987 which was the following year of commemoration of the centennial anniversary of the foundation of Kansai University. Professor Iwasaki was from Saga Prefecture and obtained Ph. D. at Columbia University in U.S. as the first foreign student from Kansai University. After his study in U.S., he was employed as a professor in Kansai University. He served as the first dean of faculty of law and letters, the first director of university library and the 17th, 19th, and 20th president of Kansai University.
The ILS held the event of centennial anniversary in 1991 for the Judgment of Otsu Incident, and also held a symposium and a lecture of 10th anniversary of founding the institute in 1997. Countless symposia have been held since 1987. After entering a new century in 2001, the ILS has been moved to Kojima Korekata Hall which was newly opened. Justice Kojima was from Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture and served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It is well known that in Otsu Incident in 1891, he defended the independence of judiciary against the political pressure, which is important as one of the principles of constitutions in western countries at that time. When he was the chief judge of the court of appeals of Osaka, he made much contribution to establish Kansai Law School. Such actions made Professor Iwasaki and Justice Kojima “internationalists.” We take internationalization as a foundation of the ILS.
Japanese industrial structure is now influenced not only by “internationalization” but also by “information technology” and “information-oriented innovation.” In order to cope with these tendencies, we are asked to respond steadily. The ILS has accumulated faithfully the results of research and reports for 20 years so as to meet the demand. The results of our research titled as “Study Report Series,” widen your view and imagination, and we have continued to publish it more than 30 volumes by over 20 research groups about varieties of themes. Furthermore, the results of the research projects have been compiled including “ International Financial Revolution and Law,” which had been adopted as an “Academic Frontier” project by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Our periodical called “Nomos” introduces biannually any types of symposia and seminars which are held by the ILS over 10 times a year. We have invited many scholars from Japan, the U.S, and countries from Asia, Oceania, and EU, including lawyers and specialists from other legal fields to various events, and published journals as the fruits of our studies for twenty years.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of foundation of the ILS here in Osaka which has Kansai International Airport, we must take internationalization into consideration seriously, and respond to all kinds of demands for legal studies actively and cooperate with other institutes. Therefore we would like to ask your continuous support for the ILS activities.

2012/10 Tetsukazu OKAMOTO, Director of ILS

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Research Activities

European private law

Period of Study

April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017

Study Theme

Harmonization of European private law

Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study is to clarify how and based on what kinds of policies harmonization or unification of law is implemented in Europe, and the nature of the resulting influence it has on individual national law systems. As a first stage (April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015), this study focused on regulation of contracts, which is a shared subject for all of the researchers in this study group. The next step was to study the methodologies of such regulation from the perspectives of the law of obligations, consumer law, financial services law, labor law and social security law, according to the special interests of individual researchers.

As a second stage (April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017), this study focuses on ‘damages’ and aims at expanding the research field by including not only contractual liability, but non-contractual liability as well. Following this, Mr. Antonios KARAISKOS (associate professor of the Faculty of Law) has been newly added to our research group.

Group Members
[Head] Yo Terakawa: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Keita Baba: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Shinji Ueda: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Go Fukushima: Associate Professor, Faculty of Law
  Karaiskos Antonios: Associate Professor, Faculty of Law

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Law and Business Activities

Period of Study

April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017

Study Theme

Analysis of collateral and transaction laws and their impact on business activities

Purpose of Study

Legal rules on corporate collateral and transactions impact several business activities, such as decisions regarding personal guarantees and collateral in cases such as business start-ups or bankruptcy. There are several types of transactions mandated by legal institutions in Japan that enable security of transactions and promote business activity. On the other hand, the current legal system imposes some restrictions on corporate transactions that can prevent a firm or an entrepreneur from making efficient decisions regarding business start-ups, bankruptcy, and reorganization.

  • Our research project is aimed at studying the following themes:
  • (1) What impact do current rules regarding collateral and commercial law have on corporate activities?
  • (2) Which legal institutions can help facilitate efficient business activities among firms?
  • (3) Are the legal institutions that are advantageous for aiding corporate activities consistent with Japan’s current commercial laws?
  • (4) Are the institutions that are advantageous for corporates also of benefit to the consumer and society?

This project is an interdisciplinary study combining approaches taken in economics and several areas of legal study, including commercial, transactional, and international private laws. The purpose of our research is to promote the Japanese economy by studying the transactional legal institutions currently in place and suggesting appropriate improvements.

Group Members
[Head] Tetsuya Mishima: Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies
  Takuro Tajikawa: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Yoshinobu Zasu: Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics
  Ikumi Sato: Visiting Researcher
(Assistant Professor, Kyoto Sangyo University)
  Wang Chin-yen: Visiting Researcher
(Professor, Department of Law, Province University)

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Local Democracy

Period of Study

April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017

Study Theme

Analysis of and Publication on the Conduct of Local Assembly Members

Purpose of Study

Local assemblies form one arm of Japan’s dual representative system. As bodies that represent the general population, local assemblies are required to fulfill various functions, including policy formation and clarifications of points of dispute. At present, however, it can hardly be said that local assemblies are adequately fulfilling the functions expected of them. At the citizen level, 64% of voters now say that they see no point in making their views known to local government (Natori 2005). The fact that the average turnout in nationwide local elections is now below 50% also makes it clear that people place little faith in local assemblies in Japan. This study will clarify the current state of local assemblies by analyzing the conduct and statements of all assembly members of local city and town assemblies in Kyoto, Osaka, and Hyogo Prefectures, and will put up a portal site with the aim of contributing to increasing the local citizens’ expectations of the assemblies. In particular, we will use the records of local assembly minutes, Twitter, blogs, and other media to make public the statements made by individuals from local assemblies, and analyze the conduct and statements of assembly members and the issues faced by each local assembly. We will also put up a website to make public a summary and analysis of the information we have gathered on local assemblies, to help keep the public informed. Through research supported by financial assistance from Kansai University, we aim to become a center for research on local assemblies.

Group Members
[Head] Ryouta Natori: Professor, Faculty of Informatics
  Shoichiro Ishibashi: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Haruya Sakamoto: Professor, Faculty of Law

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the Collection and Preservation of Forensic Evidence

Period of Study

April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017

Study Theme

the Collection and Preservation of Forensic Evidence

Purpose of Study

Finding of facts in criminal trials depends on evidence. In line with significant developments in the use of forensic science in criminal investigation and prosecution, evidence based on DNA and other forensic science methods has become increasingly important in recent years. Essential to this, the issues of fair collection and preservation of appropriate evidence have also been increasing in importance. In this context, it is essential to analyze the current situation regarding the process by which investigative agencies gather and preserve evidence and to develop rules and systems for operating and verifying this process.

Another issue that has attracted increasing attention in recent years is the disclosure of evidence by the public prosecutor to the defendant and the defendant’s legal representation. In order to achieve a prompt trial, the Pretrial Arrangement Procedure was introduced by amendments to the law in 2004. This system, which has been in force since November 2005, is intended to ensure that contested issues are defined and evidence is disclosed prior to the first trial date. We will analyze the current state of evidence disclosure and compare it with the conditions under the previous system, looking at the relationship between the disclosure of evidence and the fairness of evidence gathering and preservation.

Misgivings about the fairness of the way in which evidence is collected and preserved can give rise to problems at trial regarding admissibility (the relevance of evidence). As well as considering the clarity of the concept of the relevance of evidence itself, there is a need to consider its relationship to the fairness of collection and preservation of evidence.

Revisions to the law in 2010 abolished the statute of limitations for some serious crimes. The raison d'etre of this system can be discussed from perspectives of substantive law and procedural law. With regard to the raison d'etre of the statute of limitations in terms of criminal procedural law, it is difficult to ensure proper trials after evidence has been dispersed. Therefore, constructing a system to prevent dispersal or spoiling of evidence is particularly important.

The purpose of this research is to rationalize and study various issues regarding assembly and handling of evidence and, thence, to construct a body of rules and systems for ensuring fairness in those processes. Specific matters to be studied include:
・Collection and preservation of scientific evidence;
・Scientific analysis of evidence;
・Judicial practice in relation to collection and preservation of evidence;
・Pretrial Arrangement Procedure and disclosure of evidence;
・Relationship of Admissibility (relevance of evidence) to the fairness of evidence
collection and preservation procedures;
・Statute of limitations and collection and preservation of evidence.

Group Members
[Head] Kyoko Yamana: Professor, School of Law
  Hiroki Nakashima: Professor, School of Law
  Yasuhiro Morioka, Professor, School of Law
  Yuri Yamanaka: Associate Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies

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