Asian Law Center


Spotlight on Japan

Join UW Law and the Asian Law Center in welcoming esteemed Japanese law scholars Professor Yasuhei Taniguchi (Emeritus Kyoto U, former WTO Judge), Professor Shinichi Ago (Kyushu U; former ILO Officer), Professor Shigenori Matsui (U British Columbia) and Professor Carl Goodman (Visiting Professor, UW Law) for a week-long series of lectures:

Wednesday February 22 – Civil Litigation in Japan

Professor Shigenori Matsui, Director of Japanese Legal Studies, The University of British Columbia

William H. Gates Hall Room 116, 8:30-10:20am; Breakfast served

Professor Shigenori Matsui, (J.S.D. Stanford; LL.D. Kyoto), is the Director of Japanese Legal Studies at UBC Faculty of Law, previously serving as a Professor of Law at Osaka University. An internationally-renowned expert in the fields of Constitutional Law, Mass Media Law and Internet Law, he has been a visiting scholar at the University of California, University College London, the University of Washington, and the University of Western Australia. Professor Matsui also served for the Japanese Government as a member of the National Freedom of Information Board, and as an examiner for the National Bar Examination Commission (Constitutional Law).

Professor John Haley groundbreaking 1978 article “The Myth of the Reluctant Litigant” examined perceived conceptions about adjudication and the role of the courts in Japan. Professor Matsui will revisit the state of Japanese civil litigation and talk about the small numbers of litigation, the reasons for it, and various hurdles for civil litigation in Japan.

Thursday February 23 – The Experience of a Japanese WTO Trade Law Judge in Geneva

Professor Yasuhei Taniguchi, Emeritus, Kyoto University; Former WTO Judge, 2000-2007

William H. Gates Hall Room 133, 3:30-4:30pm; Reception 4:30-5:20

Professor Yasuhei Taniguchi (J.S.D. Cornell) served as a member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body from 2000-2007. He is former president of the Japanese Association of Civil Procedure and former vice-president of the International Association of Procedural Law. He is currently president of the Japan Association of Arbitrators. He serves as an arbitrator and affiliate of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration the ICC Institute of World Business Law, the International Law Association; the American Law Institute; the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association; the London Court of International Arbitration; the American Arbitration Association; the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre; the Chinese International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission; the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board; and the Cairo Regional Centre of Commercial Arbitration. He has been an active arbitrator in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Court of International Arbitration.

Professor Taniguchi taught at Kyoto University for 39 years and has been Professor Emeritus since 1998. He has also taught at Senshu University and as a Visiting Professor of Law at top law schools in the United States, Australia, Hong Kong and France. He is currently an Attorney at Law in Tokyo.

Monday February 27 – The Ozawa Prosecution and Japanese Democracy

Visiting Professor of Law Carl Goodman, University of Washington School of Law

William H. Gates Hall Room 117, 12:30-1:20pm; Lunch served

Recent changes in Japan's criminal law have affected Japanese politics. Most spectacularly, it has resulted in the indictment of former Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa, presenting an interesting and troubling legal and political scenario. The trial, which began in October 2011, is the first of its kind involving court-appointed lawyers serving as prosecutors under the 2009 revisions made to the Inquest of Prosecution Law.

Visiting from George Washington University Law School, Professor Goodman is a retired partner in the Law Firm of Jones Day. Professor Goodman also spent 15 years in government service at the Justice and State Departments, ending his government service as General Counsel of the then United States Civil Service Commission. In addition to teaching at U.S. law schools, Professor Goodman has held visiting teaching positions with top law schools in Japan, including Chuo University, Hiroshima University and Tokyo University. He authored books on The Rule of Law in Japan; and Justice and Civil Procedure in Japan as well as numerous legal articles in such varied fields as Japanese Law, International and Comparative Law and Civil Service Law. Professor Goodman is teaching courses on Japanese Law and on Civil Litigation in a Comparative Context during his visit to the University of Washington School of Law.

Tuesday February 28 – The Application of International Labor Standards in Asia and the Role of Corporate Social Responsibility

Professor Shinichi Ago, Kyushu University Faculty of Law

William H. Gates Hall Room 117, 12:30-1:20pm; Lunch served

Professor Shinichi Ago (Ph.D. University of Geneva) is a Professor of Law and former Dean at Kyushu University. A renowned expert on international institutional law and labor law, Professor Ago served many years as a Legal Officer with the International Labor Organization, with major responsibilities throughout Asia. His scholarship focuses on International human rights law, corporate social responsibility and international law, International trade law and Law of international institutions.

Professor Ago will discuss the general attitude of Asian countries towards international labor standards (mainly ILO Conventions and Recommendations) in terms of the number of ratification of ILO Conventions and difficulties faced by them in the application. He will then address the use of CSR to overcome such difficulties and will offer a critical observation on that point.

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