The Future Practice of Law
Edited by William van Caenegem and Mary Hiscock
Chapter 5: Japanese legal education reform: A lost opportunity to end the cult(ure) of the national bar examination and internationalise curricula?
This chapter highlights recent developments in Japan after substantial reforms to legal education in 2004. We argue that the national philosophy of legal education in Japan, to the extent that one exists, is dictated by the national bar examination. The reforms demonstrate that legal education, including its content, delivery and purpose, is a contested issue in Japan. The reforms failed to bring about meaningful change to the examination, and it continues to be a major obstacle to internationalising curricula in law schools and preparing students for an internationalised legal market, even though so-called internationalisation (kokusai-ka) was a key recommendation of the Justice System Reform Council’s blueprint for legal education in the twenty-first century, which ultimately led to the reforms. Japan is not alone in its recent reassessment of legal education content and offerings. Kift, an Australian academic specialising in legal education in Australia, notes that jurisdictions such as the US, England, Australia, Scotland, Canada and Hong Kong have been through periods of retrospection and reform, and most ‘have exhorted a reorientation of the traditional approaches to legal education, essentially from a content focus and towards skills and values acquisition and training’.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.