Legal Education Reform in Japan

|An Attempt of Education Reform in Japanese Law Schools which will be established in 2004 |

August 16, 2003

KAGAYAMA Shigeru, Professor of law, School of Law of Nagoya University


In Japan, they thought that the education is given only by teaching. Most of students attend the class without preparation, take notes passively and review lessons only just before examination. Only few students take preparation before class.

In law school which will be newly established in 2004 in Japan as a part of the judicial reform, they have to bring up the legal profession who is able to solve regal problems. As a result, they set their aim of education as follows:

Law school have to provide a good environment for students to acquire the professional legal knowledge securely, and simultaneously, to master the critical and creative way of thinking, or
to acquire the legal analyzing and discussing ability which is required to solve concrete legal problems with the method of presenting real facts in front of them.

To accomplish this aim, law schools have to provide students with the educational environment as follows:

In Oder to explain usefulness of making comparative table, I will take example of "Mirror Image Rule" both Civil Code of Japan and CISG.

It will be easy to understand difference and common points between civil code of Japan and CISG if you make a comparative table of Art. 528 civil code of Japan and Art. 19 CISG. This table also recognize you contradiction of Art. 19(2) to Art. 18(1) CISG. And you will find the role of principle of good faith (Art. 7(1) CISG), compromising Art. 18(1) and Art. 19(2). And then you will find that this mechanism will be applied to interpretation of Art. 528 civil code Japan and we can share with common rule between CISG and civil code of Japan.

Through the legal education reform promoting a creative way of thinking for students, we can bring up the different type of legal profession as before.