Japan 's Legal System : Japan Essay

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Japan’s legal system, as overlaid by Junko Gono, et al, in their work, “Overview of Legal Systems in the Asia-Pacific Region: Japan,” is based on the civil law tradition, with its biggest historical influences being the civil codes of France and Germany as well as United States law (7). Though considered a civil law country, one key aspect of Japan’s judiciary goes against the standard template for a civil law legal system. Unlike other civil law based countries, Japan’s highest court, as explained by Jun-Ichi Satoh in his article, “Judicial Review in Japan: An Overview of the Case Law and an Examination of Trends in the Japanese Supreme Court’s Constitutional Oversight,” has the power of judicial review, meaning that it can "determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regulation, or official act” (603). It should be noted, however, says Satoh, that the Supreme Court rarely uses this power of judicial review because of the work of the Cabinet Legislative Bureau, which provides “legal opinions to the Prime Minister and other legislative officials and to review drafts of bills, regulations, and orders to determine if they are consistent with the constitution and legal precedent” (605).
Junko Gono, et al, also provide a structural overview of Japan’s court system. There are five levels of courts in Japan, including: The Supreme Court, the high courts, district courts, family courts, and summary courts. The Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in Japan and is
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