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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 FY2021 four joint research teams (Rethinking the Law and Devolopment Studies, Technological Innovation and criminal law, Rethinking Rationality of General Provisions and Specific Provisions of Commercial Transactions in Japanese Commercial Code, Changes to Our System of ‘Inheritance and Transactions’) carried out activities at the institute. What is more, the institute also hosts 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, 2021 through March 31, 2023

Study Theme

Rethinking the Law and Devolopment Studies

Purpose of Study

Looking at the global trends since the application for the establishment of this research group, in developing countries, there have been frequent examples of what can be called a regression to authoritarian regimes and system of developmental dictatorship. In addition, in countries considered to be developed countries, we can observe several cases of disregard for good governance and cases of negative attitudes and skepticism toward democracy. Therefore, it can be said that the research method adopted by this research group, which is necessary to study not only developing countries but also countries that have achieved a certain degree of economic growth, is suitable for analyzing the phenomena that have been emerging in recent years. However, the trends actually occurring are well beyond initial expectations and are progressing diversely and rapidly. Therefore, more time is required to analyze related events.

For this, the Rethinking the Law and Development Studies group will conduct two more years of research activities to build a basis for considering the future of the legal system in developing countries by reexamining development law through an analysis of major trends, as well as to advance the analysis of the dynamics of “development” and “growth”.

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

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Technological Innovation and criminal law

Period of Study

April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2023

Study Theme

Technological Innovation and criminal law

Purpose of Study

In recent years, communications environments have improved round the world, serving to facilitate development of industries dependent on communications. Today, as data from various sectors is shared and utilized, said information and related technologies are more highly valued. Additionally, the protection of data key to personal information, such as DNA, is becoming increasingly important. As these trends are expected to intensify in the future, legal solutions in the event of problems potentially arising from these technologies does not necessarily fall in line with development.

This situation has led to numerous issues that were not anticipated under conventional criminal law, which was originally developed to handle cases involving people or objects. Certain limitations to the law have this been identified. For instance, there is discission about who is the primary responsible party in the event of accidental death caused by automated driving. In addition, while there is a need to focus on legal protection of data, at the same time there are concerns such as expanded scope of punitive measures, and administrative issues such as conflict pertaining to collection and use of personal information regarding criminal investigations. The main purpose of this research is to consider and analyze various issues pertaining to criminal law that have arisen in tandem with relevant technical innovation.

Group Members
[Head] Yukako Sagawa: Professor, School of Law
  Rikizou Kuzuhara: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Hiroki Nakashima: Professor, School of Law
  Yu Kamon: Adjunct Resercher (Professor, Ritsumeikan University)
  Hiroki Yamashita: Adjunct Resercher (Senior Lecturer, Kobe Gakuin University)

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Rethinking Rationality of General Provisions and Specific Provisions of Commercial Transactions in Japanese Commercial Code

Period of Study

April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2023

Study Theme

Research on rationality of Rethinking Rationality of General Provisions and Specific Provisions of Commercial Transactions in Japanese Commercial Code

Purpose of Study

Under amendments to the Civil Code 2017, conspicuous discrepancies in civil code and commercial code in regards to commercial acts—specifically the statutory rate of interest for commercial matters and trading laches—were eliminated to engender greater uniformity of the civil code. In fact, regarding regulations pertaining to general rules of commerce and other relevant rules—with the exception of code pertaining to amendments made to the commercial code in 2018 (pertaining to transportation and maritime law)—only minor changes were needed to comply with credit law revisions.

However, there remain numerous unclear factors with regard to streamlining regulations on general rules of commerce and other relevant rules. For example, main clause of Article 504 of the commercial code, which describes the undisclosed principal concept with regard to commercial activities by agents, i.e. even where there is no signature, allows attribution of effects to the person in question. At the same time, the proviso under Article 504 does not impede demands for fulfillment made on an agent by the choice of the other party.

However, if the act in question constitutes legal duty that cannot be performed by an alternate, then the demand for fulfillment (with the exception of monetary compensation) on an agent is impossible; therefore it appears the regulation is designed for very limited application such as mass repeat trading of items as delineated under the same Article. Little research, however, has been conducted on the facts.

Further, in regards to how regulations on contract nonconformity in trading are applied, discrepancies can be observed even in textbooks on commercial acts in compliance with the revised laws.

The purpose of this research is to re-examine the rationality of regulations on general rules of commerce and other relevant rules, based on the credit law revisions described above, in order to identify optimal systems—including civil and contract law—and make appropriate recommendations.

Group Members
[Head] Hiroaki Hara: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Yukihiro Sasamoto: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Keita Baba: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Daiju Murata: Professor, Faculty of Law
  Kengo Minami: Adjunct Resercher(Professor, Nihon University)

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Changes to Our System of ‘Inheritance and Transactions’

Period of Study

April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2023

Study Theme

Assessment of the Impact of “Transformation” in the World of Business Following the Enforcement of the Amended Law of Succession- With a View to Moving Toward a New Legislation

Purpose of Study

The major revision of the Law of Succession in 2018 has had a significant impact, regardless of whether it is academia or the business world, and various articles have been published and research groups and symposiums have been conducted.

Following the major trends leading up to the enforcement of the amended law, we have been discussing the main issues at study groups by inviting external lecturers and conducting foreign legal investigations since fiscal 2019, but with respect to the evaluation of the group’s theme of “transformation”, it will not be possible to assess with any level of certainty until 2020, when the revised law will finally come into effect.

Further, at about the same time as the start of the group, just as the issue of revision of the Civil Law and the Real Estate Registration Act pertaining to the “issue of the land of unknown owner” with many issues under the Law of Succession, was taken up for discussion by the legislative council, this sector has been moving rapidly leading to the need to determine where this problem will end. To this end, we will conduct research activities for another two years from April 2021.

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, Lawyer)
  Ryota Maki: Adjunct Resercher(Lawyer)

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