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Institute of Legal Studies

The Institute of Legal Studies is a research organization that was established with the objectives of cultivating cutting-edge academic disciplines and contributing to improving the quality of the public’s lives in a legal sense and the development of a culture of law. It does this by conducting studies and research that grapple with problems pertaining to legal, judicial, and administrative practice, theory, and policy.

In FY2020 four joint research teams (Rethinking the Law and Devolopment Studies, Theory and practice of consumer private law, Changes to Our System of ‘Inheritance and Transactions’, What is empire? : Understanding the politics beyond nationals) carried out activities at the institute. What is more, the institute also hosts contemporary law seminars, symposia, extension lectures, and other such events that cover new lawmaking and research trends in an effort to return the results of its research to the public, practitioners, and others. The results of the institute’s activities are also published and released in publications such as the ISL Research Report series and its magazine Nomos, which are highly regarded by the likes of researcher and practitioners.

In recognition of this track record, the institute was chosen as a center for the Academic Frontier Project for Private Universities by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technol-ogy in April 2000. The institute carried out research project activities centered around the theme of the connection between international financial reforms and law up through March 2005. In Sep-tember 2008 the institute was selected for the MEXT-Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities as a base for the minority studies it has accumulated thus far, and the Center for Minority Studies was newly launched to carry out research activities and achieve results by March 2013.

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Outline

Director's Greeting

Prof. Motonobu
GOTO
(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.

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Research Activities

Rethinking the Law and Devolopment Studies

Period of Study

April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2021

Study Theme

Rethinking the Law and Devolopment Studies

Purpose of Study

“Law and Development” has been defined as “studies exploring the various political problems surrounding law,” as denoted in Nobuyuki Yasuda’s Law and Development Studies. As part of this, the countries of Asia in particular have been positioned and considered as “post-development countries.” What is more, Law and Development Studies conducted overseas, there is a tendency to place the focus on one’s own country’s economic development and legal system. In this manner, conventional Law and Development Studies has generally focused on economic development in developing countries in Asia and similar regions.

Yet in this modern day and age of increasingly complexed social dynamics, “development” problems are no longer necessarily restricted to the economic activities of developing countries. Problems on Socioeconomic development exist even in countries that have achieved a certain measure of economic growth. Examples of this include the rise in immigrant workers and the need to find legal accommodations for them, the state of advancing decentralization in the interest of good governance amidst the emergence of disparities between urban and rural areas, and the institutionalization that has occurred in order to protect the rights of people who find themselves occupying the status of minorities while living together with a diverse array of different ethnic groups. What is more, the political challenges from the standpoint of the legal system aimed at resolving these problems in developed countries have begun taking on an aspect of complexity compared with cases that aim for linear development in developing countries.

Under such circumstances, the team’s objective is to once again consider modalities in a multifaceted manner for Law and Development Studies that is not restricted to developing countries. Through this, it will turn around and lay a foundation for considering a future vision for the legal systems in developing countries and provide a footing for analyzing the dynamics of development and growth.

Group Members
[Head] Kikuo Nishizawa: Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies
  Tsunoda Takeshi: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Noriyuki Asano: Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies
  Nobuki Kawasaki: Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies
  Tadashi Negishi: Adjunct Resercher
(Associate Professor, University of Kochi)

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Theory and practice of consumer private law

Period of Study

April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2021

Study Theme

Examining theoretical and practical problems for consumer private law

Purpose of Study

Recent developments concerning consumer private law have grown increasingly animated compared with the past. In 2009 the Consumer Affairs Agency was launched in order to achieve centralized consumer administration. The Consumer Affairs Agency enacts basic plans related to consumer policy and continuously verifies and assesses those plans in order to respond to the diverse litany of consumer issues that arise in a complex and advanced society. Furthermore, in June 2018 a bill to partially revise the Consumer Contract Act was passed at a plenary session of the House of Councilors. It means a remarkable legislative movement. Moreover, as things currently stand there is an unending succession of fraudulent business practices that take aim at vulnerable consumers with limited business experience, such as the young and the elderly, and a large number of judicial precedents related to consumer contracts have been observed as well. However, given the enormous number of challenges left behind by these numerous laws and judicial precedents, the claim could be made that there is room to prudently verify whether or not the status quo of consumer private law is functioning effectively in terms of theoretical and practical problems.

The primary objective for this research is to perform multifaceted analyses of the various problems surrounding consumer private law by having the researchers adopt a broad perspective. The objective of these analyses is to aim to form a bridge between theory and practice when it comes to contemporary consumer private law by inviting attorneys to serve as commissioned researchers and exchange opinions with one another so that their respective areas of expertise may lay a foundation for this.

Group Members
[Head] Yo Terakawa: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Shinji Ueda: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Keita Baba: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Shinji Minai: Adjunct Resercher
(Lawyer)
  Hitomi Mishima: Junior researcher

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Changes to Our System of ‘Inheritance and Transactions’

Period of Study

April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2021

Study Theme

Revised inheritance law and developing structures for real estate transactions, financial transactions, enforcement practices, and registration

Purpose of Study

Legislative bill guidelines for revising inheritance law passed the Diet in 2018. Specifically, these reassess the protections for the right of residence of spouses, the temporary advance system for deposits and savings found among inherited property, handling disposal prior to estate partitions, systems for relaxing the requirements on and storing holographic wills, clarifying the professional duties of executors of with, and the system for distributive shares. These are not limited to mere partial revisions, but constitute broad and wide-ranging revisions that include enhancing the requirement for “assertion against third parties” scheme for passing down inherited property, enhancing protections for those who contribute to asset formation, and more. Consequently, these guidelines were drafted by repeatedly undertaking prudent and meticulous preparations such as seeking public comments starting from the preparatory stages for drafting the legislation and listening carefully to the critical and dissenting opinions expressed. However, there is still the possibility of confusion arising and problems occurring after the revised law goes into force.

In light of the current conditions indicated above, this research team’s objective is to formulate measures in response to a variety of different issues, as well as legal theoretical and practical proposals. These are to be based on a thorough investigation of the impact that the new system will have on financial transactions, the impact it will have on general property transactions, and its impact on registration practices by surveying estate partitions and subsequent practices from prior to the start of inheritance proceedings to after they have begun.

Therefore, civil law scholars together with former judges and former judicial scriveners (as well as current attorneys) will be included among the researchers in a manner that transcends the bounds of family law and property law. Doing so will make it possible to promote research and studies from various angles in a theoretical and practical sense as well as a comparative legal perspective in order to deepen the discussion.

Group Members
[Head] Tomoko Matsuo: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Hiroyuki Kubo: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Mariko Shirasu: Associate Professor, Faculty of Law
  Masaaki Shimomura: Professor, School of Law
  Yoshifumi Akanishi: Adjunct Resercher
(Professor, Kindai University,Law School Lawyer)
  Ryota Maki: Adjunct Resercher
(Lawyer, Former judicial scrivener)

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What is empire? : Understanding the politics beyond nationals

Period of Study

April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2021

Study Theme

Thoughts on and history of ‘imperial’ practices

Purpose of Study

The practices of imperium/ empire, a type of trans-regional, cross-border governance, does not fit within the classical framework of sovereign nations. Our research group aims to analyze their historical and contemporary modalities. We begin by broadly collecting data and knowledge on the contemporary ‘imperial’ practices and examining their significance and problems. They include topics such as international management and administrative activities for peace-building following civil wars, the governance of the state in response to cross-border activities (immigration and refugees), and the global governance which have extended outside the region, such as the countering global-terrorism. Focus will be placed on the fact/ perception that these sorts of trans-regional and cross-border governances/ phenomena are not necessarily unique to the 21st century, but are rather an extension of the ‘imperial’ practices, which carried out intermittently throughout the history of modern international relations.

In order to promote these historical/ancient-modern comparative analyses, we also engage to historical research on the modern state-building achieved amidst international interference, the cross-border economic and migration policies conducted under liberal foreign interventions and burgeoning imperialism, and the cross-border militaristic and police activities. These historical researches would, we believe, provide invaluable vantage points and knowledge to understand the various problems present in contemporary international relations. In other words, we will aim to harness the fruits of this historical research in academic analyses concerning to modern phenomena.

In the previous stage, our research group has already established its visual axes and themes based on the results of recent studies on the current state of immigration and refugee policies in Europe, as well as the colonial policies of contemporary European nations. In this second stage, based upon these achievements, we plan to set forth another way for academic analyses concerning global crises.

Group Members
[Head] Masataka Yasutake: Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies
  Chieko Kitagawa-Otsuru: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Taira Nishi: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Rieko Karatani: Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies
  Motomichi Igarashi: Associate Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies
  Kakoo Hiroki: Adjunct Resercher
(Professor, Tohoku University)
  Kariya Chihiro: Adjunct Resercher
(Assistant Professor)
  Tetsuya Toyoda: Adjunct Resercher
(Associate Professor, Akita International University)
  TSAI MON HAN: Adjunct Resercher

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