ANJeL Events

ANJeL organises a number of research events to stimulate intellectual and public debate on issues of Japanese law. These events range from international conferences, continuing legal education seminars to informal discussion workshops.

30 November – 1 December 2018
ALSA 2018 Conference

ANJeL is proud to host the Asian Law and Society Association (ALSA) conference for 2018. The event will be held at Bond University on the Gold Coast.

3–5 July 2018
ASAA 2018 Conference

The biennial Asian Studies Association of Australia conference will be held at the University of Sydney, organised by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, the China Studies Centre and the School of Languages and Culture.

22–23 March 2018
Japan-Australia Energy Dialogue

A conference focusing on energy law and policy in Japan and Australia. The theme of this event centres on redesigning energy policy and regulation to promote innovation and achieve deep decarbonisation in Australia and Japan. This stems from need to review and reform national level law and policy to meet the Paris Agreement’s target of zero net emissions by 2050.

16 February 2017
International Investment Arbitration Across Asia

The Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CUPLUS) and the Sydney Centre for International Law (SCIL) co-hosted a symposium on the theme: “International Investment Arbitration Across Asia”. The symposium, also sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and Herbert Smith Freehills, brought together leading experts of international investment law from Southeast Asia, North Asia, India and Oceania. The symposium re-examined the historical development of international investment treaties in the Asian region, focusing on whether and how the countries may be shifting from rule takes to rule makers. A focus was on the ASEAN(+) treaties, including the (ASEAN+6) Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at an advanced stage of negotiations, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, which was discussed more broadly as an urgent topic in the wake of the change of direction by the US under the new administration. Participants at the symposium also elaborated on the experiences of Asian countries with ISDS mechanisms, and the attitude towards ISDS before and after first major investor-state arbitration (ISA) cases in the region.

30 September 2016
Transacting with the Asia-Pacific: Theory and Practice

Alongside the International Law and Global Governance (ILGG) Program at QUT and the Asia-Pacific Legal Institute of Australia (APLIA), ANJeL co-hosted a research workshop on Asia-Pacific transactions with contributions from both scholars and practitioners. Growing interest among the local practising community is an encouraging trend.

30 September 2016
Brisbane Seminar on Australian Law

The 2016 Osaka seminar ended with great success. The highlights were (a) cuddling a koala; (b) seeing a QCAT (tribunal) trial between unrepresented (but visibly emotional) parties to a building dispute; and (c) a class on legal education with three QUT students to interact with the Osaka kids.

12 August 2016
Collective self-defence symposium

Together with the UNSW Faculty of Law and the Gilbert & Tobin Centre of Public Law, ANJeL co-hosted a symposium on collective self-defence and the Article 9 “peace clause” of Japan’s post-War Constitution. Speakers included Profs Yasuo Hasebe (Waseda), Hajime Yamamoto (Keio), Craig Martin (Washburn), A/Prof Hitoshi Nasu (ANU) and Prof Ros Dixon (UNSW, convenor).

10 August 2016
Contract and Consumer Law Reform

A number of ANJeL members and other experts presented a seminar on Contract and Consumer Law Reform in Asia hosted by CAPLUS (Centre for Asian and Pacific Law, University of Sydney). Among other speakers were Associate Professor Jeannie Paterson (University of Melbourne), Professor Luke Nottage (University of Sydney), Professor Hiroo Sono (Hokkaido University), Professor Bing Ling (University of Sydney) and Professor Sakda Thanitcul (Chulalongkorn University).

8 August 2016
Integrity in Asian Sport Symposium

ANJeL co-hosted a symposium on Integrity in Asian Sport together with the Sydney Law School. The experts in sports law examined the confluence of Asian regionalism and integrity in sport.

1 July 2016
Abe and the Law

This conference was hosted by the Queensland University of Technology (Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane). The conference explored the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo’s move to office for the Liberal Democratic Party in a landslide victory in 2012. In the process, Japan’s foray into two-party politics collapsed and a new economic orthodoxy (dubbed ‘Abenomics’) was born. But what has happened to Japanese law and society under Abe’s leadership? This conference debated whether Abe’s administration is transforming Japanese law in its institutional design and its socio-economic impact and weather it is possible to discern an “Abe-prudence”.

8–12 / 15–16 February 2016
Kyoto/Tokyo Seminar in Japanese Law

The Kyoto Seminar and Tokyo Seminar courses are always popular, and some institutions offer course credit for student participation. These events are held annually and ANJeL welcomes expressions of interest for participation in future years.

late 2015
Arbitration and Negotiation Competition

Team Australia competed in the Intercollegiate Arbitration and Negotiation Competition in Tokyo. This team brought together 10 students from University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, Australian National University and Monash University.

30 September – 2 October 2015
Wounds, Scars, and Healing: Civil Society and Postwar Pacific Basin Reconciliation

ANJeL supported a conference commemorating the 70th anniversary since the end of the war. The conference was held at the University of Sydney, and involved the performance of a noh drama written by USyd Emeritus Professor Allan Marett.

31 August – 11 September 2015
Gold Coast Seminar on Australian Law

ANJeL ran the fourth iteration of the Gold Coast Seminar on Australian Law. Leon Wolff coordinated and taught in this program. He also contributed to the Osaka University course on Australian Law coordinated by Professor Kota Fukui while a research fellow in Japan.

10 September 2015
Lunch Seminar — University of Sydney:

On 10 September, ANJeL Visitor / Professor Kichimoto Asaka from the University of Tokyo presented on the topic “Novel subject matter-specific dispute resolution mechanisms in Japan” at a lunchtime seminar at the University of Sydney. The abstract for this talk is as follows:

“In the 2010s, Japan enacted several dispute resolution mechanisms involving the government, to varying extents:

  1. Accredited consumer groups may sue businesses for injunctions regarding deceptive, misleading, or unconscionable contract terms and, under a newer law, collect damages for victimised consumers.
  2. Certified financial ADR institutions mediate disputes between financial institutions and investors.
  3. A government-sponsored nuclear accident ADR centre mediates disputes between Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident victims. Are they supplemental mechanisms for access to justice, or paternalistic remedies for public grievances?”
7–8 August 2015
Bond University Conference

ANJeL co-sponsored a conference at Bond University, hosted by the Transnational, International and Comparative Law and Policy Network (TICLP).

3 August 2015
Book launch

Chicago Law School Prof Tom Ginsburg launched two new books by ANJeL members/co-directors as part of a Comparative Law conference at the UNSW Law Faculty in Sydney.

26–27 February 2015
Independent Directors in Asia book project

Following a preliminary conference at the German-Japan Centre Berlin last year, the National University of Singapore hosted this conference where co-authors presented and actively discussed full manuscripts. This fascinating corporate governance project, critically assessing the eastward spread of independent directors requirements, is led by Harald Baum (ANJeL advisor, comparing the US/EU), Souichirou Kozuka (ASEAN in Japan Kanto convenor, comparing Japan), Luke Nottage (comparing Australia), and Dan Puchniak (ANJeL in ASEAN convenor, comparing Singapore), also co-authoring some other chapters. The project also involves Vivienne Bath (ANJeL Deputy Director at USyd, comparing Hong Kong) and also covers mainland China, Taiwan, Korea and India.

12 February 2015
ANJeL Commemorative Conference

ANJeL held its 13th annual conference at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto. This conference reflected upon 10 years of the Kyoto and Tokyo Seminars on Japanese Law, a collaborative teaching venture with ANJeL. Over 50 students registered for the 2015 program, which continues to be popular among Australian law students from USyd, ANU and other schools.

29–30 November 2014
13th Intercollegiate Negotiation (and Arbitration) Competition

Sydney Law School, in cooperation with ANJeL, put together a team of students to join “Team Australia” to compete in the competition, which was in Tokyo. The team very successfully placed third overall in the competition.

3–4 November 2014
Law of the Sea

ANJeL co-director Hitoshi Nasu organised a workshop on Maritime Security in the South China Sea, including his colleague ANU Prof Don Rothwell and USyd’s A/Prof Tim Stephens. This workshop discussed maritime security issues that arise from the South China Sea disputes, particularly from the perspectives of those countries that are not directly involved in the dispute.

6–17 October 2014
Nagoya University Intensive Course

ANJeL co-director Leon Wolff was invited to deliver an 8-part intensive course at the Graduate School of Law at Nagoya University on Japanese corporate governance in the Leading Program “Cross-Border Legal Institution Design”. He also gave a guest lecture at Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy on “Lifelong Employment in Japan: Law and Lore”.

17–19 July 2014
Independent Directors in Japan and Other Major Asian Jurisdictions

ANJeL supported a two-day public conference in Berlin, plus a half-day closed session for editors and authors of a conference volume.

16 May 2014
12th ANJeL symposium on Japanese Law

ANJeL, in conjunction with James Cook University Faculty of Law, Business and Creative Arts, hosted this in Cairns, co-organised by JCU Associate Prof Justin Dabner. The primary focus of the symposium was on “Japanese Law and Business amidst Bilateral and Regional Free Trade Agreements”, however papers were presented on a wide range of topics.

14 May 2014
Corporate Governance in North Asia

The Centre for Asian and Pacific Law (CAPLUS) and ANJeL presented a seminar with Professor Bruce Aronson, from Hitotsubashi University, Japan.

18 March 2014
Corporate Governance in North Asia

A book based on ANJeL’s 2012 Anniversary Conference has been published by Springer and was launched a week after the third anniversary of Japan’s Triple Disasters. The book was launched by the Hon Robert McClelland, former federal Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Services and the event was hosted at Herbert Smith Freehills.

book launch
Left to right: Adjunct Professor Don Robertson (Herbert Smith Freehills; USyd); co-editor Prof Luke Nottage (Usyd); Hon Robert McClelland; co-editor A/Prof Simon Butt (Usyd); and co-editor Dr Hitoshi Nasu (ANU)
6 March 2014
Roundtable on complaints and disputes between lawyers and their clients

ANJeL hosted a free roundtable discussion on how complaints and disputes between lawyers and their clients are handled. The seminar compared Japan, the UK and Australia and was held at the University of Sydney Law School. Speakers included Professor Shiro Kashimura from Kobe University and Professor Masaki Abe from Osaka City University.

6 December 2013
Contract Law Reform in Asia

ANJeL and the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS) held an invitation-only symposium at Sydney Law School to compare contract law reform in Asia. Speakers from abroad included Professors Kenji Saigusa (Waseda University), Andrew Pardieck (Southern Illinois University), Jonghyu Jeong (Chonnam National University), Paripurna Sugarda (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia), Prof Yang Lixin (Renmin University, Beijing) and Prof Yao Hui (Renmin University, Beijing; now seconded to the Supreme People’s Court).

26 August – 6 September 2013
Gold Coast Seminar

This seminar at Bond University introduces Australian law to Japanese law students, and is coordinated by ANJeL Co-director Leon Wolff.

23–24 May 2013
Political Change Versus Law Reform Continuity: Japanese Law After Three Years of Enthusiasm and Disillusionment

ANJeL presented a four-paper panel for the 10th Asian Law Institute Conference in Bangalore.

7 March 2013
Role of the Supreme Court and the Appointment System of its Justices in Japan

ANJeL sponsored a lunchtime comparative law seminar led by Professor Masato Ichikawa and colleagues from Ritsumeikan University. This presentation was on a Japanese Ministry of Education research project.

4–15 February 2013
2013 Canberra Seminar

The Canberra Seminar was co-ordinated by ANJeL co-director Hitoshi Nasu. There were 33 student participants (16 from Aoyama Gakuin and 17 rom Ritsumeikan University).

9–10 February 2013
Socio-legal norms in preventing and managing disasters in Japan and the Asia-Pacific

ANJeL participated in a follow-up seminar, to last year’s ANJeL Anniversary conference, at Tohoku University.

6–9 & 12–13 February 2013
2013 Kyoto and Tokyo Seminars in Japanese Law
3 December 2012
Australasian Forum for International Arbitration symposium

ANJeL Advisor and International Bar Association President Akira Kawamura presented a keynote presentation at the first Australasian Forum for International Arbitration (AFIA) symposium in Tokyo, Japan. This event was hosted by Freshfields with the participation of ANJeL’s Team Australia in the Intercollegiate Arbitration and Negotiation Competition in Tokyo.

23 October 2012
The application of ‘informal’ international instruments before domestic courts: The case of Japan

Dr Machiko Kanetake, ANJeL Visitor from the Amsterdam Center for International Law, gave a free lunch-time seminar at Sydney Law School.

13 September 2012
International Arbitration in UNCITRAL Model Law Jurisdictions: Comparing Recent Developments in Japan

ANJeL supported this seminar.

12 September 2012
Interactive AFIA symposium

Professor Nakamura and Luke Nottage participated in Brisbane in an interactive AFIA (Australasian Forum for International Arbitration) symposium hosted by Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

August/September 2012
Gold Coast Seminar on Australian Law

ANJeL hosted the seminar for Japanese law students, primarily from Osaka University.

20 July 2012
Public seminar

Professors Tatsuya Nakamura, J Romesh Weeramantry and Luke Nottage presented a public seminar at JCAA in Tokyo to compare recent developments in jurisdictions that have based their arbitration legislation on the UNCITRAL Model Law (respectively: Japan, Hong Kong and Australia).

10–11 May 2012
Japanese Law, French Law, What Dialogue?

ANJeL supported an international conference at the University of Lyon. ANJeL members presenting papers included Profs Kozuka (corporate governance) and Vanoverbeke (Meiji-era juries) and Dr Giraudot (globalisation and legal method).

22 March 2012
Foreign Investment and Dispute Resolution in Asia (including Japan)

A book, co-edited by ANJeL co-Director Luke Nottage and Deputy Director Vivienne Bath, was launched in Sydney.

1–2 March 2012
10th ANJeL International Conference: Socio-legal Norms in Preventing and Managing Disasters in Japan: Asia-Pacific and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

This anniversary conference, commemorating Japan’s “3–11” disaster in 2011 as well as ANJeL’s decade-long efforts to compare Japanese Law in broad context, which took place at Sydney Law School, was a great success. There was a Radio Australia news story which resulted from the conference, a further news item on the University of Sydney website, and photos from the event are also available.

11 February 2012
4th ANJeL Australia-Japan Business Law Seminar

This seminar, which took place at Herbert Smith, Tokyo, compared developments in Australian labour law (Prof Joellen Riley) and the new “Australian Consumer Law” (Prof Luke Nottage), including dispute management aspects and with comments/comparisons from Herbert Smith lawyer Peter Coney and Gakushuin University Prof Souichirou Kozuka.

30 August 2011
Building an Asia-Pacific Community

ANJeL Co-director Luke Nottage was a guest speaker at the Sydney Centre for International Law seminar.

3 August 2011
Australia’s new policy on investor-state dispute settlement

ANJeL Co-director Luke Nottage was a guest speaker at the Sydney Centre for International Law seminar.

4–7 July 2011
Internationalising Japanese Law: Sport, Culture and Dispute Resolution

ANJeL has organised a panel for the JSAA biennial conference in Melbourne.

26–27 March 2011
8th Asian Law Institute Conference — Law in Sustainable Asia

ANJeL Member Dan Puchniak coordinated a panel at Kyushu University in Japan.

7–17 February 2011

ANJeL’s 3rd Australia-Japan Business Law Update CLE Seminar took place in Tokyo on Saturday 12 February. The Kyoto and Tokyo Seminar intensive courses in Japanese Law were offered over 7–17 February.

19 November 2010
Shareholder Derivative Actions in Japan and Asia

At Sydney Law School, the ANJeL-in-ASEAN Program Convenor gave a lunchtime seminar.

15 November 2010
The Future of Japanese Law?

ANJeL co-sponsored the Gold Coast International Conference at the Faculty of Law, Bond University.

29 October 2010
Symposium on foreign investment and finance law in Asia

The Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney hosted a symposium, including several papers dealing with Japan.

11–12 June 2010
Japanese, Chinese and Indian Investments In and Out: New Trends in the Globalization of Law Within and From Asia

ANJeL supported an international symposium organised by the Maison Franco-Japonaise in Tokyo. It brought together a diverse group of academic researchers and practitioners, including several ANJeL members.

25–26 May 2010
Asian Law Institute (ASLI) conference

ANJeL-in-ASEAN Program Convenor, Dan Puchniak, organised a panel involving ANJeL members focused mainly on Japanese corporate governance for this onference in Kuala Lumpur.

13 February 2010
2nd ANJeL Australia Japan Business Law Update

The CLE Seminar was held at Ernst & Young’s Tokyo office on 13 February. The two main themes were the amended Double Tax Treaty and post-GFC financial markets developments.

8–18 February 2010
Kyoto and Tokyo Seminar
5–6 February 2010
East Asian Law and Society Conference

ANJeL coordinated two Panels comparing judicial reform initiatives in Japan at the inaugural East Asian Law and Society Conference, at the University of Hong Kong. Panel 11 focused on criminal justice, and the other Panel 16 focussed on broader topics.

Report on Japan for a five-country comparison of judicial sector reforms

ANJeL Co-directors, and former ANJeL Visitors David Johnson and Makoto Ibusuki, provided a report as part of a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project for the government of Vietnam. The project was coordinated through USydney’s Research Institute for the Asia-Pacific (RIAP).

4 December 2009
Consumer Law and Policy in the Asia-Pacific

Sydney Law School hosted the 4th Consumer Law Roundtable. A special guest was Professor Tsuneo Matsumoto, who has been heavily involved in Japan’s consumer law reform over the last decade, including the recent establishment of an independent Consumers Agency.

27–28 November 2009
Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific: Towards Institution Building

ANJeL co-hosted this major conference in partnership with the Sydney Centre for International Law (SCIL), the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS), and the Australian Human Rights Centre at UNSW. Speakers include former members of the International Human Rights Committee and leading international law and human rights scholars in the Asia-Pacific region.

21 September 2009
Evolving global legal practice and the work of the International Bar Association

Mr. Akira Kawamura (Vice President of the International Bar Association and Partner at Anderson, Mori and Tomotsune) spoke at a Sydney University Law Society (SULS) Luncheon for Sydney University Students.

31 August 2009
Towards a New Form of Flexicurity?: The Fluctuating Employment System in Japan

Professor Kazuo Sugeno, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo Law School, and author of Japanese Employment and Labour Law among other texts spoke at the new Sydney Law School as part of the Sydney Law School Distinguished Speakers Program 2009.

30 July 2009
Does the WTO Really Settle International Trade Disputes?

Professor Taniguchi gave a public lecture at the new Sydney Law School building.

13–16 July 2009
Bridging the Gap between Japanese Language and Japanese Legal Studies

ANJeL sponsored a panel presentation at the joint Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA) / International Conference on Japanese Language Education (ICJLE) 2009 conference held in Sydney at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney. This panel focused on the interaction between legal studies and language in a variety of contexts, including as part of undergraduate, post-graduate and international legal education.

Professor Kent Anderson presented a paper entitled “The Language in Teaching Comparative Japanese Law: Can Legal Studies and Language Studies Be Combined?—two case studies”. This paper relies on two case studies to investigate whether combining Japanese legal studies with Japanese language studies compromises the pedagogical outcomes. Put differently, does combing language and legal studies inhibit achieving educational outcomes for either, or can both objectives be accomplished in the classroom? The first case study is a negotiation simulation exercise conducted for four years that has Australian students and Japanese students negotiating a contract and resolving a dispute under that contract through video negotiation and email exchange. The students are divided into three teams that negotiate in Japanese, English and a mixture of the two languages. The course seeks to teach negotiation and legal drafting skills, and provides a means by which students can develop their professional Japanese language skills. The second case study is course taught for four years that leads towards students participating in an arbitration and negotiation mooting competition in Japanese. This course seeks to develop legal reasoning, arbitration practice, negotiation skills, and provides a means by which students can develop their professional Japanese language skills. Deeper analysis is warranted, but preliminary outcomes suggest the following. These courses inspire students which allows for more student-led learning. The practical skills focus of the courses fills a hole in the Australian legal education curriculum. Students’ professional language skills develop, but perhaps more importantly the exercise provides an opportunity for students to make a realistic assessment of their own language skills. Challenges include increased cost of innovative educational design, the infrastructure costs of the models, and the bounded skill set of the teaching staff.

Associate Professor Luke Nottage presented on “The Cultural (Re)Turn in Japanese Law vs Challenges to Japanese Language Literacy: The Kyoto/Tokyo Seminars as a Partial Response”. This paper considers translating legal rules, principles and cultures with a focus on the annual international program held in Japan called The Kyoto and Tokyo Seminars. The program allows non-Japanese students to learn about Japanese Law in Japan. The paper considers Japanese legal studies from a first wave of culturalist approaches to Japanese Law; a model instead emphasising the institutional barriers to invoking the law in Japan; another model emphasising “elite management”; and a very different “economic analysis” of Japanese law-related behaviour. Finally, it examines an emerging “hybrid paradigm” that takes more seriously new understandings and measures of culture and community. Interpreting foreign legalese can be hard enough. But the most difficult task often lies in conveying the way it is embedded in a broader socio-legal praxis and discourse abroad. If we want to bring back (more sophisticated) “culture” into non-Japanese students’ studies of Japanese Law, we need to promote Japanese language study too.

Ms Stacey Steele’s presentation was entitled “Impact of the abolition of the undergraduate law degree on the integration of legal and language studies at the University of Melbourne.” This paper comments on the impact of the Melbourne Model and the abolition of the LL.B at the University of Melbourne on the ability and desire of students to combine language and law study. Reflecting her personal interest as convenor of the Japan Program at the Melbourne Law School, the paper focuses on graduates from Japanese language and studies courses. The Melbourne Law School experienced its first intake of Juris Doctor (JD) students under the new Melbourne Model in 2008. Accordingly, it is difficult to identify any trends in relation to student preferences. Further, given the decline in students studying Japanese and the popularity of combined LL.B/Commerce degrees, the issue of attracting students with language skills to law is not new. However, the Melbourne Law School’s departure from the traditional Australian model of LL.B/BA poses new challenges to non-English speaking legal studies scholars. At the Asian Law Centre, ways to keep Asian legal studies relevant and attractive are explored. Perhaps there are lessons to be learned from the United States where post-graduate legal education is the norm. Japan itself, may also offer up solutions in light of its recent move to post-graduate Law Schools, but the initial experience there seems to reflect a decline in student interest in any courses that are not directly related to the National Bar Examination. In Australia, we do not teach in the shadow of a bar examination, but there are still market and regulatory constraints on students when they choose optional subjects which may enable them to combine legal studies and language skills. Part of the answer may lay in extra-curricular activities, new research seminars, funding for research associates, scholarships and further post-graduate study.

Dr Ikuko Nakane of the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne served as the Panel Chair and Discussant.

18 June 2009
Corporate Governance in the 21st Century: Japan’s Gradual Transformation

Chief Justice Spigelman launched ANJeL’s first book, edited by Luke Nottage, Leon Wolff and Kent Anderson and published by Edward Elgar, at the new Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney campus, with the support of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS). The occasion also marked the launch of a new edition of Law of International Business in Australasia, which ANJeL member Vivienne Bath of the University of Sydney co-authored for the first time.

9–13 & 16–20 February 2009
Kyoto & Tokyo Seminars on Japanese Law

ANJeL offered two intensive courses for Australian law students with Ritsumeikan University Law School. The Kyoto Seminar examined the response of Japanese law to globalization, covering criminal law, civil justice, business regulation, consumer rights, gender equity and public law. The Tokyo Seminar examined the relationship between economic change and law reform in Japan, exploring employment law, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, commercial dispute resolution, foreign investment regulation and the legal profession.

15 February 2009
Who Judges Japanese Law?

In November 2008, ANJeL’s edited book, Corporate Governance in the Twenty-First Century: Japan’s Gradual Transformation, was published by Edward Elgar. The book features essays by ANJeL members who are leading academics and lawyers in their respective fields. ANJeL is now in the initial stages of planning a follow-up volume. Tentatively titled Who Governs Japanese Law? Popular Participation in Japan’s Legal Process, the book examines the role of the community in adjudicative and other legal processes in Japan. The book uses the long-standing debate about who governs Japan as its starting point, but focuses less on the bureaucratic control of the economy and more on popular constraints over elite control of the legal system. Some examples of this include the introduction of the new saiban’in system in Japanese criminal justice, the involvement of union and management representatives in the management of labour disputes as well as greater involvement of shareholders in corporate governance decision-making.

14 February 2009
7th ANJeL International Conference: “Crisis and the Law”

ANJeL hosted its 7th international conference on Japanese law at the Tokyo Campus of Ritsumeikan University.

The world is gripped by a financial crisis of unprecedented scale. Major financial institutions, such as Lehman Brothers, have spectacularly failed. Others, such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, have been saved through nationalisation. Stock markets have plunged. Consumer prices are rising. Business confidence is at all-time lows. Japan is also experiencing crises beyond the economic. Prime Minister Aso has taken over the presidency of an increasingly unstable Liberal Democratic Party after his predecessors Abe and Fukuda lasted less than a year each as leaders. A series of unprovoked murders have led to speculation that a lack of job security is leading to the alienation of Japanese youth.

This conference queried the role of law in Japan’s economic, political, social, and in particular, environmental crises? Is it cause or cure, solution or problem? How do Japanese institutions and processes compare with those in other countries in dealing with such crises?

14 February 2009
Update on Australian-Japanese Law

ANJeL’s Inaugural Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) Seminar in Japan was held at the Tokyo Campus of Ritsumeikan University and featured updates by Tokyo-based practitioners and ANJeL directors on:

  1. Infrastructure resource contracts between Australian and Asian firms.
  2. Accession to the UN Sales Convention in Australia and Japan.
  3. International commercial arbitration and litigation.
  4. Enforcement of Australian judgments in Japan.
  5. Directors’ duties during a credit crunch.

The CLE Seminar delivered academically and practically relevant information to meet the professional needs of lawyers who work at the interface of Australian and Japanese law or who are interested in moving into this market. Excluding refreshment breaks, the CLE was be three hours in duration and worth 3 points of MCLE (NSW) or CPD (Victoria and Queensland).

February 2009
Canberra Seminar in Australian Law

This two-week intensive seminar on Australian law for Japanese law students was again in Canberra.

21 July 2008
Japanese Corporate Governance

ANJeL provided a Asian Law CLE Seminar in association with CAPLUS at the Sydney University Law School.

12 June 2008
Cocktails and Corporate Governance

ANJeL co-hosted a reception with Blake Dawson in Sydney.

28 May 2008
Interrogating Suspects, Confessions and Videotaping in Australia

ANJeL co-hosted a seminar with the Kyoto Bar Association.

22 May 2008
Breaking New Ground: An Evening with Young Success Stories

ANJeL co-hosted an evening with the Australia-Japan Society of NSW in Sydney.

18–22 February 2008
Tokyo Seminar in Japanese Law

The new Tokyo Seminar in Japanese Law was held for the first time.

16 February 2008
Beyond “Country and Western” Law: Towards New Australia-Japan Partnerships in Legal Research

The “country and western” tradition in law — one that focuses exclusively on the “official” national law of primarily capitalist societies in Western Europe and the United States — is, according to William Twining, no longer appropriate to a globalising world (“Comparative Law and Legal Theory: The Country and Western Tradition” in Ian Edge (ed.) Comparative Law in Global Perspective (2000) Ch. 2).

This conference brought together scholars from Australia, Japan and the rest of the world to share current research agendas and build new international research communities that take a broader view of law in a globalising world. Co-hosted by Ritsumeikan University and the Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL), partners and collaborators since 2005, the conference welcomed paper proposals about research directions and trends in various areas of law and suggestions on how to carve out a more globally-focused research agenda. One important aim of the conference was to build new research relationships and links between Australia, Japan and the rest of the world. Particularly welcome were papers that explored how comparative law scholarship is evolving in universities, legislative reform processes, the judiciary, small and large law firms, and other “sites” world-wide for the production and application of foreign and transnational law.

12–15 February 2008
Kyoto Seminar in Japanese Law

The Kyoto Seminar in Japanese Law was held at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.

11–18 February 2008
Canberra Seminar in Australian Law

The Canberra Seminar in Australian Law was held at the Australian National University.

5–6 July 2007
Japanese Law after Recession and Reform: Once was Lost, Now is Found

ANJeL hosted its fifth annual international conference on Japanese Law at the Australian National University, Canberra from the evening of Thursday 5 July until Friday 6 July 2007. The theme of the conference was “Japanese Law after Recession and Reform: Once was Lost, Now is Found”. The ANJeL conference looked at topics including lay participation in the judicial systems of Japan and Australia.

Tying in with the ANJeL conference was the fifteenth biennial Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA) conference, which was also held at the ANU campus from 1–4 July 2007. On 4 July, ANJeL sponsored two law panels within the JSAA conference:

  1. Corporate Governance, organised by Luke Nottage,
  2. Refugee Law, organised by Hitoshi Nasu.

Following the ANJeL Conference, the Asian Law Centre hosted a symposium on Monday July 9, entitled “Legal Education in Asia”.

5–9 & 5–16 February 2007
Kyoto Seminar in Japanese Law & Canberra Seminar in Australian Law

ANJeL held two student intensive courses in February 2007. The Kyoto Seminar in Japanese Law, an intensive course taught in English to Japanese and international students by lecturers from Japan and Australia, was held at Ritsumeikan University. The Canberra Seminar in Australian Law, an intensive course taught to Japanese student covering English for Lawyers and an Introduction to Australian Law, was held at ANU.

early December 2006

ANJeL won the Japanese Intercollegiate Negotiation and Arbitration Competition held in Tokyo.

November 2006

ANJeL assisted with two Japanese law events hosted at The University of Western Sydney School of Law and with Meiji University.

early July 2006

The Chief Justice of NSW took a delegation of Australian judges to Japan to hold talks with their Japanese counterparts. His Honour also gave some public lectures in Tokyo.

1–3 March 2006

Dr Harald Baum (ANJeL Research Visitor and Advisory Board member) led seminars on comparative corporate governance at the Sydney office of Blake Dawson (coordinated by Advisory Board member Michael Ryland, and involving also ANJeL Director Luke Nottage and Prof Souichirou Kozuka), at the University of Wollongong (coordinated by Prof Christoph Antons), and ANU in Canberra (coordinated by ANJeL Director Kent Anderson).

28 February 2006
War of the Worlds in Japanese Law? Implications for Business Law Harmonisation

ANJeL held an international conference at UNSW. The conference coincided with the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange, and the visit of the general editor of the Journal of Japanese Law (Dr Harald Baum).

11 September 2005

ANJeL held an informal dinner in Kyoto at “Ganko-Sushi Nijo-en”. This preceded the inaugural “Kyoto Seminar” series of Japanese Law intensive lectures.

26 July 2005
Who’s Afraid of the Vienna Sales Convention (CISG)? A New Zealander’s View from Australia and Japan

Luke Nottage gave a CLE seminar at the NSW Bar Association, facilitated by ANJeL.

5 July 2005
Japan Studies Association of Australia biennial conference

Kent Anderson convened and spoke at a panel on “Legal Reform” at this biennial conference, held this time at the University of Adelaide. He spoke on the (lay assessor) reforms, Carol Lawson on privacy law, and Trevor Ryan on criminal justice for juveniles. Relatedly, Jeff Kingston presented a paper on “Information Disclosure in Japan”, at the “Political Reform” panel.

25 May 2005
Integrating Dispute Resolution into Japanese Legal Education

ANJeL facilitated a USyd Law Faculty staff seminar (also open to ANJeL members) for Dr Julian Dierkes (visiting from UBC). His paper focused on how ADR courses have been introduced into Japan’s new postgrad law schools. Luke Nottage contrasted developments especially in Australia in ADR, and gave more context on Japan’s law schools reforms. A lively discussion ensued.

23 February 2005
Japanese Law on Trial

ANJeL hosted an international conference in Japanese Law at the University of Sydney. ANJeL wishes to thank the Japan Foundation for their generous financial support for the conference. Panels were organised into ‘mock trials’ against two charges:

  1. that Japan’s System of Criminal Justice is Unjust; and
  2. Japan is Americanising its Civil and Commercial Laws.
21 February 2005
Build It and They Will Come: The First Anniversary of Law Schools in Japan

ANJeL Inaugural Affiliate Asian Law Centre, with support from the Japan Foundation, hosted a conference at University of Melbourne. All co-Directors of ANJeL, and several other members, gave presentations. Papers are being prepared for publication in special numbers of the Journal of Japanese Law, as well as the Australian Journal of Asian Law.

9 December 2004
The Changing Face of Corporate Governance: Reforms in Australia and Japan

ANJeL Co-Directors, Dr Luke Nottage and Kent Anderson, collaborated with the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

26 November 2004
Australasian and Global Perspectives for Japanese Law Reform Processes: Legal Education, Commercial Regulation, and Beyond

ANJeL co-hosted a small workshop with Doshisha Law School, in Kyoto, at a time when most or all of the ANJeL co-directors expected to be in Japan.

Japan has experienced a “lost decade” economically since the 1990s, but has also undergone a bewildering array of legal reforms. Australia and New Zealand experienced a similar program of deregulation and re-regulation from the 1980s. Those interested in comparative and Japanese law “down under” also tend to have different approaches and perspectives than observers from Europe and the US. This workshop will explore those perspectives, but in a global perspective, focusing on evolving law reform processes (not just outcomes), especially in two main areas of shared interest: commercial regulation, and legal education reform. For example, is there or should there be an Americanisation of Japanese law? Or does Japan need a new independent “Law Commission”, following the Anglo-Commonwealth model, to restore more cohesion in its legislative reform process? Would this help or hinder more value pluralism in law reform? Should a stronger business law harmonization agenda, along European Union lines, be added to initiatives towards more bilateral or regional trade agreements? Can law schools in Australasia and Japan resist bureaucratization and “corporatisation”?

22 June 2004
Japanese Law’s Place in the World and the World’s Place in Japanese Law

ANJeL hosted an international conference in Japanese Law at UNSW. The Conference comprised twelve paper presentation, followed by a stimulative discussion on the ideas and themes emerging from the conference.

26 November 2003
The Ongoing (R)evolution of IT in Japanese Law and Judicial Reform in Japan

Professor Makoto Ibusuki of Ritsumeikan University Law Faculty led a roundtable discussion at the Faculty of Law, UNSW.

30 October 2003
Comparing Product Safety and Liability Law in Japan

Luke Nottage presented a paper at a USyd Law Faculty staff seminar.

8 September 2003
Comparative criminal justice

ANJeL Research Visitor, Professor David Johnson of Hawaii University, led a roundtable discussion at UNSW before delivering a paper at a USyd Law Faculty staff seminar.

7 July 2003
Americanisation of Japanese Law: Civil Justice Reform and the Business World

ANJeL hosted a Continuing Legal Education seminar at USyd. The presenters were: Setuso Miyazawa, Kent Anderson, Kengo Miyamoto, Luke Nottage, Ian Williams, Michael Ryland and Leon Wolff.

2–4 July 2003
Turbulence and Traction in Japanese Regulatory Style: Evaluating Recent Reforms to Japanese Law

ANJeL hosted a special roundtable discussion at the 12th Biennial Conference of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia, at QUT.

22–23 July 2002
Into the Grove of Japanese Law: Perspectives and Paradigms

ANU, USydney and UNSW jointly hosted an international colloquium at UNSW. Speakers came from Australia, Japan and North America.