This article addresses two trends in U.S. legal education: internationalization and integration ― more specifically, integration of doctrine, skills and legal ethics. Although international and comparative law, skills training and legal ethics all have deep historical roots in U.S. legal education, the past few decades have seen major increases in each of those areas. A particularly noteworthy recent development is the rise in efforts to integrate skills training and attention to ethical issues with doctrinal analysis, rather than just teaching each of those elements separately. After surveying the history of internationalization, skills training, and education in ethics at U.S. law schools, this article discusses the recent developments. The article then examines various forces that have fostered the trends before closing with comparative observations on the situation in Japan.
The legal education at the undergraduate level should provide students with the ability of logical thinking, problem solving skills, the ability to work in a team, communication skills and the ability to study by themselves, rather than providing detailed knowledge about the law. For the training of such skills, beyond the framework of the individual college classes, it is effective to provide a forum to compete with students of other universities or countries in intercollegiate competitions.
The Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition is an example of such forum. The competition is a two-day annual competition and 270 students from 17 Japanese and Australian universities participated in 9th competition of 2010. We conduct arbitration of an international business dispute on the first day and cross border business negotiation on the second day (For more details of the competition, please see my article in English available at http://www.jcaa.or.jp/e/arbitration/docs/news26.pdf).
Participants, during approximately two months, prepare very diligently in cooperation with teammates. They very eagerly research relevant materials, discuss with teammates, and repeatedly practice their presentation. In such process, participants hone their ability of logical thinking and communication and presentation skills and learn the difficulty and joy of working in teams. Taking the form of intercollegiate competition will give a strong motivation to the participants. Also, they may encounter more different style, idea and culture by competing with participants from other universities.
In other countries such as US or some European countries, there are various national and international intercollegiate competitions in the field of legal education. Considering the great educational effect of intercollegiate competitions, such competition is expected to increase also in Japan.
Law-related education (LRE), currently conducted in Japan, is criticized for respecting the status quo or being too normative. Those who raise such criticism propose so-called “Critical LRE,” whose purpose is to cultivate critical thinking about law. They promote lessons in which students propose alternative laws through the relativization of current law, since they think important active law-making by citizen or the view of constitutionalism. However, critical LRE has troubles that it gives priority to presentation of alternative laws over criticism of law, or to abstract ideas over concrete lessons. It is because their conception of critical LRE is based on the vague concept of criticism of law.
In this paper, I introduced a new concept of criticism of law into critical LRE through making reference to the interpretive sociology of law which claims the influential legal theory about criticism, after I clarified such troubles on the concept of criticism of law from the aspects of Legalism and Critical Legal Studies. Critical LRE, revived in such a way, emphasizes everydayness and concernedness, and formulates lesson plans based on actualization of micro-criticism by persons concerned and their creative criticism in everyday life, not based on the Criticism through reconstruction of alternative laws and institutions. Consequently, critical LRE resolves its troubles and gains consistent criticism, which set forth the reference point to rethink about LRE.
Law Related Education (LRE) can be an effective solution of the social exclusion of the poor, disadvantaged, or minorities. One main purpose of LRE is to facilitate participation of varieties of people in the civil society.
The contemporary LRE movement in Japan is, however, not sufficient to fulfill the purpose, because it is still too much bound by the school-education and nation-state paradigm. It is the paradigm that recidivates the social exclusion generationally. Sociology of education points out that cultural and social stratification is regenerated through the school-education systems.
We need to find alternative paradigm of LRE, which focuses on connection between the excluded people and the society. When denied judicial access or outreach, or when fleeing institutional or social engagement, what could be the primary cause? Here, clues are found in a knowledge frame work that confirms and acknowledges self-affirmation.
Another approach, which binds welfare, judiciary, and education together, may be attained through so-called cause or pro bono lawyering. Though it is not necessarily an education-oriented activity, de facto function thereof is worth considering. Whilst keeping contemporary LRE firmly in mind, this piece has sought to highlight the existence of new possibilities for legal education through adopting a perspective of social inclusion.
Western peer-mediation education has been developed as a citizenship education. In Japan, mediation education has been carried out as ADR attracts a great public attention. However, there are no or little coordination between peer-mediation education and citizenship education. On the other hand, education for youth within their own community, which is a basis for citizenship education, has been called for as a measure dealing with social problems among youth. Therefore, we need to promote peer-mediation education in the framework of citizenship education in cooperation with people in the community. I will examine the potential and challenges for this kind of peer-mediation education from my observation of peer-mediations administered in England and Japan. I found that peer-mediation education in England is supported by and integrated to the mediation programs of community based organizations. Also I found some possibilities in Japan for integrating peer-mediation education to citizenship education based on community activities.
This paper is an empirical study on the commons of the Ike ward in Ito city of Shizuoka prefecture, which achieved regeneration of commons after its declination. In the study were carried out an “analysis of factors of regeneration” to explore the conditions for regeneration, an analysis of the approach taken by the residents in the design of institutions, and an “institutional analysis” in which the course of institutional changes and their achievements were examined. In carrying out the analyses, I hypothesized that the greatest “factor of success” for the commons of Ike ward was that “the residents of Ike ward were able to deal flexibly with economic and social changes in the local community by ‘learning’ about ‘law’.” Thus the verification of this hypothesis is indeed the main purpose of this paper.
In the consideration of the commons, I began with reconsidering anew what it is to “learn” about “law.” In this paper, the “learning” process of the residents is reviewed, based not on education by methods of teaching by guidance (pedagogy) such as in schools, but on the concept of “education” called “andragogy,” which has the meaning of “adult education.” This analysis demonstrated that “learning” about “law” by the residents is necessary in order to regenerate a declining common, providing a suggestion for the commons in other regions which are aiming at regeneration.
The discussion of law related education shifts to “How” to do it from “Why” it is assuming to be necessary and hands−on activities are prosperous now. However, various problems remain still being left. For example, the problem of how to catch “Supporter” is the problem of the methodology. Because the influence only not limited to the world of the education, it may be caused while de pending on a way of the law related education practice. Then, it was assumed that “Supporter” problem was discussed through reading and solving “mind and skills” to the judicial scrivener’s (Shiho-shoshi Lawyer’s) law related education from the nationwide survey to the judicial scrivener in this paper. When hands−on activities are evaluated in the down shot or more, the terms of “Another” is involved in the law related education of the judicial scrivener. Though, it is assumed that there are various difficulties in the individual judicial scrivener engaged in the public-interest activity or the law related or the judicial scrivener association and is confirmed disorder and the instability of a systematic pace. It can be said that “it is new” possibility of the law related education is here.
How does a public agency decide its interpretation of a law that it is going to enforce or invoke? And how does it tend to react when it faces a pressure to change the interpretation from outside? In other words, how does administration learn the law? Are there any specific characteristics or problems concerning these legal processes in Japanese public sectors? This paper examines these issues, taking up “disclosure of information” activities of a local education board and related disputes as a case. Constitutional principles require administrative legal interpretations to be consistent and legitimate. From sociological viewpoint, realization of such requirement is a dynamic social process, not automatic or mechanical. So it is worthwhile an inquiry, both academically and practically, to ask and analyze what legal/political/social mechanisms exist to try to guarantee legitimate understanding of legal rules of public sectors; how they are functioning or not functioning; how effective they are; what factors are behind those realities; whether and how they are to be improved. “Enforcement and invocation of law” studies have tended to see public sectors as a legal subject, the one to use law to attain some administrative objectives. This paper, on the other hand, treat administration as an legal object of law, the one to be required to observe law. Such a viewpoint, classic it may be, may have its renewed importance in critically discussing present-day government.