November 2009: First International Symposium

November 2009: First International Symposium

Japan and the EU in Transition: Legal Reforms in a Globalized World

November 3rd and 4th, 2009

Participation of civilians in the legal procedure is a major issue in the recent reforms of the criminal and civil justice system in Japan. The jury (saiban’in) system has been in effect in Japan since May 21st, 2009. The participation of civilians in criminal procedure is remarkable in view of the huge gap between the court and the people that is said to characterize law in Japan. The saiban’in system was established with the Italian and German jury systems as principal sources of inspiration and complemented with original Japanese elements.

Japan’s neighbor – Korea – recently established a jury system as well, and Taiwanese policy makers are currently debating on the appropriate jury system for their country. Asia, indeed, seems to be moving in the opposite direction from Belgium where discussion on abolishing the jury is taking place. Moreover, the question of how Japan’s most powerful neighbor – China – is approaching the developments in Japan in the wake of recent measures to foster the ‘rule of law’ in their country is extremely relevant today.

Why is it necessary for East Asian countries to introduce this jury system now? How should the developments in Asia be understood? Will the developments concerning legal reform in East Asia influence the region’s relations with the EU? This international symposium will tackle the issue of reforms in the legal system from a variety of perspectives. The first part of the symposium will provide a general comparative outline concerning legal changes in the EU and Japan through presentations related to Japan as a global and powerful economic player in transition. The second part of this international symposium will take an in-depth look at the jury system and try to answer the general question whether the participation of citizens in the criminal procedure will change Japan’s legal culture and, more in general, Japan’s position on the international economic and political scene. Finally, through examples from Belgium, some presentations on methodological issues will close the session and open the plenary discussion.


8.45-9.15: Registration

9.15-9.45: Opening and general introduction
(Ichihara Yasuhisa, Kansai University, Dimitri Vanoverbeke, K.U. Leuven & Takeshi Tsunoda, Kansai University)

9.45-12.30: Session One: Legal Developments in Japan & EU
Chair: Stephan Parmentier (K.U. Leuven) & Tsunoda Takeshi (Kansai University)

9.45-10.15: Harald Baum (Max Planck Institute, Germany): Conciliation and Mediation Past and Present in Japan

10.15-10.35: Beatrice Jaluzot (Lyon University, Jean Moulin): Japan's Accession to the Vienna Sales Convention

10.35-1045: COFFEE BREAK

10.45-11.15: Esther van Zimmeren (K.U. Leuven): Patent Governance in a Comparative Perspective: Japan, the US and Europe

11.15-11.45: Eva Schwittek (Max Planck Institute, Germany): International Company Law in Japan: Recent Reforms in Historical and Comparative Perspective

11.45-12.00: Suami Takao (Waseda University): Concluding Remarks

12.00-12.30: Discussion

14.00-17.00: Session Two: Judicial Reforms in East Asia and Europe
Chair: Dimitri Vanoverbeke & Jeroen Maesschalck (K.U. Leuven)

14.00-14.30: Stephan Parmentier (K.U. Leuven): Who cares about judicial change? On the role of citizen-oriented research for judicial reform in Europe and Japan

14.30-15.00: Ichihara Yasuhisa (Kansai University): Western Models for Establishing the Modern Japanese Legal System

15.00-15.30: Ishibashi Shoichiro (Kansai University): Situating the Reforms of the Legal system in Japan’s Administrative Reforms in the 1990’s

15.30-15.40: COFFEE BREAK

15.40-16.10: Kawamura Arinori (Japan Coast Guard Academy): The Rule of Law and the Reforms of the Criminal Justice System in China

16.10-17.00: Discussion


10.00-12.30: Session Three: The Jury System in a Methodological and Comparative Perspective
Chair: Takeshi Tsunoda (Kansai University) & Dimitri Vanoverbeke (K.U. Leuven)

10.00-10.30: Tsunoda Takeshi (Kansai University) On the Introduction of the Quasi-Jury System at the Center of the Reforms of the Japanese Legal System

10.40-11.10: George Mousourakis (Auckland University) A Critical View on the Saibain’in System

11.10-11.30: Jeroen Maesschalck (K.U. Leuven): Using frameworks from public policy analysis to understand police reform: some reflections

11.30-12.00: Moritz Bälz (Frankfurt University): Fighting Orientalism? On the Importance of Culture for the Understanding of Japanese Law

12.00-12.30: Dimitri Vanoverbeke (K.U. Leuven): Ideas for Belgium? The Participation of Civilians in the Criminal Procedure in Japan

Lunch Break

14.30-15.30: Plenary Discussion

15.30-15.45: COFFEE BREAK

15.45-16.00: Plenary Discussion

16.30-17.00: Closing Remarks