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Thursday, February 27, 2014, 15:00 - 16:00

"Japan's justice system: guilty?"

Hiroshi Segi
Former presiding judge of the Tokyo District Court & Author of "The Court of Despair"
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation

 Japan's legal system was set up after the Pacific War to prevent the simultaneous fragmentation of lawful authority and concentration of unofficial power which characterized the rise of militarism in the 1930s. During that dark time, democratic institutions were held in check constitutionally by the army and navy, while informal power was wielded by extreme cliques led by influential figures.

 Yet the reformed system in Japan has frequently been unsatisfactory. Japan's Supreme Court, especially, has been accused of lacking independence.

 This is the focus of our speaker, Hiroshi Segi, a former judge and student of US law. He claims that the Supreme Court has lost its independence, and therefore fails in its role to act as a check on unconstitutional acts by the executive branch. In effect, he accuses the justice system of being a passive extension of the bureaucratic apparatus which actually runs Japan.

 In addition, he claims that Japanese judges are too tightly controlled by the Supreme Court's general secretariat. Career advancement can be stymied if judges exercise their independent judgement, rather than 'going with the flow' imposed by the higher echelons of the court. He believes that this leads to numerous poor outcomes for Japan's litigants.

 Come to this event to hear the authentic voice of experience give a harsh and controversial indictment of an institution which is, after all, supposed to be the bedrock of Japan's democratic system.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee

 

 Feb 27 14 PC Hiroshi Segi006

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