Within the last decade or so, many new and specialized courts have emerged throughout Asia. Japan represents the counter-factual example: a highly developed, unitary court system that has been largely preserved since World War II.1 The unity of Japan’s court system has been underscored by a systemic emphasis on judicial consistency: a single cohort of career judges, uniformly educated, socialized to uphold high professional standards and concerned with producing predictable outcomes.2 For the most part – at least in relation to civil and commercial cases – Japan’s courts are not slow, do not lack competence and do not lack resources. Japan’s prolonged economic stagnation after the collapse of the ‘bubble’ economy in 1989, however, provoked a legitimacy crisis for most of the government sector, and the courts were not immune from this. The Justice System Reform Council, established in 1998, delivered wide-ranging reform prescriptions for the courts in 2001,3 targeting in particular areas of perceived weakness, such as intellectual property dispute processing and the opacity of criminal procedure. The reforms in these areas are described in the chapters by Shigenori Matsui, and Kent Anderson and David Johnson, respectively.
|Title of host publication||New Courts in Asia|
|Editors||Andrew Harding and Penelope Nicholson|
|Place of Publication||UK|
|Publisher||Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|