The Contemporary Japan Group at the Institute of Social Science (ISS, a.k.a. Shaken), University of Tokyo, welcomes you to a lecture by Daniel H. Foote, Professor of Law at the University of Tokyo:
Reforming Japanese Criminal Justice: Recent Reforms as Viewed in Historical Perspective
Thursday, February 16 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Akamon Sogo Kenkyu-to Rm. 549, Institute of Social Science (Shaken), Hongo Campus, University of Tokyo: http://web.iss.u-tokyo.ac.jp/cjg/contact/
In recent years, Japan has undertaken a broad range of reforms to the criminal justice system. This is by no means the first set of efforts at criminal justice reform. Notable prior efforts include the European-influenced Meiji Era reforms in the late 1800s, the introduction of a jury system in the 1920s, extensive reforms heavily influenced by the US model in the early postwar years (which the Occupation characterized as seeking “a fundamental change of the criminological attitude” with “elaborate safeguards for the protection of the individual”), and a strong push for reform in the 1980s following revelations of miscarriages of justice in four highly publicized death penalty cases. In these past efforts, and again in the recent reforms, many of the same themes recur. Recurrent themes include reducing the reliance on confessions and the pressure to coerce confessions, strengthening the rights of suspects and defendants, fostering a robust adversary system, and providing for lay participation in judging cases. Earlier efforts had considerably less impact than the reformers may have envisioned. The prewar jury system, for example, quickly fell into disuse. Occupation-era criminal justice reforms were interpreted narrowly or even ignored. And the pressure for reform in the 1980s faded with little visible effect. With reference to these prior experiences, the presentation will consider whether there is any reason to think the recent reforms to Japanese criminal justice will have a greater lasting impact.
Daniel H. Foote is Professor of Law at The University of Tokyo, where he has been a tenured professor since 2000, with primary responsibility for the field of Sociology of Law. He is a graduate of Harvard College (A.B. 1976) and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1981). Following graduation from law school, he served as law clerk for Chief Judge Edward T. Gignoux, U.S. District Court (District of Maine) and for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to moving to the University of Tokyo, he taught at the University of Washington School of Law for twelve years, specializing in Japanese law. In 1994-95, he was Visiting Professor of Japanese Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, and in 2009-10 he was the Paul I. Terasaki Chair in U.S.-Japan Relations at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Foote has written widely on numerous aspects of Japanese and comparative law, with major research interests including criminal justice, labor and employment law, the role of the judiciary, the legal profession, dispute resolution, and legal education. Recent works include Law in Japan: A Turning Point (D.H. Foote ed.) (University of Washington Press, 2007) and books in Japanese on the judiciary, law and society, and dispute resolution. His most recent book, Hābādo: Takuetsu no himitsu -- Hābādo LS no eichi ni manabu [Harvard: Secrets to Its Preeminence – Learning from the Wisdom of Harvard Law School] (Yuhikaku, 2010), co-authored in Japanese with Yukio Yanagida, explores the past and present of Harvard Law School, seeking lessons for Japanese legal education.
Over the past decade, Foote has been heavily involved in Japan’s legal education reform process, serving on numerous government advisory councils and university committees. He also was a member of the Roundtable Discussion Group on Criminal Justice Policy, convened by the Prosecutor General of Japan, and, since 2003, has served on the Citizens’ Advisory Council to the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
The ISS Contemporary Japan Group provides English-speaking residents of the Tokyo area with an opportunity to hear cutting-edge research in social science and related policy issues, as well as a venue for researchers and professionals in or visiting Tokyo to present and receive knowledgeable feedback on their latest research projects. Admission is free and advance registration is not required. Everyone is welcome.
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