CERL Hosts Japanese Supreme Court Symposium

Renowned scholars and judges from Japan, Canada, and the United States recently gathered for a two-day symposium on Decision-Making on the Japanese Supreme Court. The law school’s Center for Empirical Research in the Law (CERL) hosted the conference, which was organized by David Law, professor of law and political science, and John O. Haley, the William R. Orthwein Distinguished Professor Emeritus.  

“The conference embraced every aspect and determinant of the Japanese Supreme Court’s behavior, from the role of precedent and the organization of its law clerk system, to the manner in which Japanese judges are appointed and promoted, to the political environment within which the court operates,” Law says.  

“The goal was to promote open debate among leading experts on the court and to challenge the conventional scholarly wisdom about how the court behaves and why it does so,” he continues. “We were especially fortunate to enjoy the presence of two former members of the Japanese Supreme Court itself. As a result, we were able to learn things about the court that scholars have never known before.” 

The conference began with opening remarks from Kent Syverud, dean and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor; Andrew Martin, CERL director and chair of the Political Science Department; and Amanda Katz, editor-in-chief of the Washington University Law Review. The Law Review is publishing a symposium issue with the papers and responses presented at the conference. The conference also paid special tribute to Haley in recognition of his retirement from the law school. 

Conference participants were: 

  • Daniel Foote, University of Tokyo Law 
  • Justice Tokiyasu Fujita, Supreme Court of Japan 
  • Stephen Givens, Aoyama Gakuin University, Faculty of Law 
  • Yusuke Hirose, Judge, Kobe District Court  
  • Hiroshi Itoh, SUNY Plattsburgh 
  • Justice Tokuji Izumi, TMI Associates; Supreme Court of Japan 
  • Masako Kamiya, Gakushuin University Law School 
  • Craig Martin, University of Baltimore School of Law 
  • Tokujin Matsudaira, Hitotsubashi Law; University of Tokyo Law 
  • Shigenori Matsui, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia 
  • Setsuo Miyazawa, Aoyama Gakuin Law School, visiting UC Hastings 
  • Shin-ichi Nishikawa, Meiji University, Political Science 
  • Mark Ramseyer, Harvard Law School 
  • Larry Repeta, Meiji University Law School 
  • Frank Upham, NYU School of Law 

For more information, including the agenda, visit the conference website.