ANJeL organises a number of research events to stimulate intellectual and public debate on issues of Japanese law. These events range from international conferences, continuing legal education seminars to informal discussion workshops.

ANJeL Events Since 2002

2021 Events

7 October - 20 November

Contemporary Perspectives on the Nuclear World: 75 Years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki Conference: An ANJeL-supported conference planned at the University of Sydney for 1-3 October 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic. But a book project is proceeding and an accompanying exhibition of atomic art, photographs and books featuring Hiroshima/Nagasaki, nuclear testing and nuclear accidents will be held on 7 October - 20 November 2021 at the Tin Sheds Gallery in USydney’s School of Architecture. Both projects are under the leadership of Dr Yasuko Claremont, with proposed book chapters due by end-December: for more details contact

2020 Events

4 August 2020

A webinar (co-hosted with CAPLUS and SCIL) was held via Zoom on current and potential repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on Asia-Pacific international arbitration and dispute settlement: Beyond the Pandemic: New Frontiers in Asia-Pacific International Dispute Resolution. A panel of experts briefly discussed each of these issues in roundtable format, drawing mainly on their co-edited book in press with Kluwer, “New Frontiers in Asia-Pacific International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution“, with a podcast recording available via Arising from presentations and delegations, postings on compulsory investor-state mediation provisions in recent treaties were published on 5 September by Claxton/Nottage/Ubilava on the widely-read Kluwer Arbitration Blog and by Ubilava on Kluwer Mediation Blog.

11 March 2020

ANJeL Research Seminar: Comparative AI + Neuro – Law: an informal lunch-time seminar planned for 11 March 2020 at the University of Sydney with a research project delegation led by Ritsumeikan was deferred due to the pandemic but may be rescheduled via Zoom seminar in future.

5 February 2020

Third annual research meeting on Japanese and Australian legal studies

ANJeL co-hosted the seminar, "Courts, Confidentiality, Citizenship & Climate Change Cooperation: Australia and Japan", with Ritsumeikan University, at their Osaka (Station) mini-campus.

2019 Events

27 November 2019

Book launch

Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney with ANJeL and Sydney Law School hosted a launch of two books by NSW Chief Justice Bathurst, co-authored by Luke Nottage. The launch speech was followed by an Asian Law seminar. For more information about the launch and books please click here.

15 November 2019

Challenges and opportunities for Asia-Pacific international commercial arbitration symposium

ANJeL Co-director Luke Nottage hosted the second of two symposiums on Asia-Pacific international business dispute resolution, including several Japan-related presentations, at Sydney Law School. For more information about the symposium please click here.

23 September 2019

ANJeL-in-Europe Symposium 2019

ANJeL has appointed Nagoya University A/Prof Giorgio Colombo as ANJeL-in-Europe Program Convenor. He is organising a small symposium on 23 September 2019 hosted by the University of Pavia in Italy. Prof Colombo and ANJeL Directors hope this will form a platform for key invitees to consider cross-institutional arrangements facilitating larger (fully) public events across Europe aimed to comparing Japanese law.

1-4 July 2019

JSAA Conference 2019

ANJeL has proposed a panel on Japanese law for the Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA) conference which will be held 1-4 July 2019 at Monash University. For more information on the panel click here.

Although the deadline for submitting proposals for panels or individual presentations was end-November, members may like to try late submissions and/or attend this biennial conference next year.

6 February 2019

Second Research Meeting for Japanese and Australian Legal Studies

A seminar on “Regulating an Uncertain Future: Robotics, AI and the Digital Economy in Japan and Australia” will be held at Ritsumeikan Osaka, Umeda Campus on 6 February 2019 at 3-6pm. For more information click here.

2018 Events

30 November – 1 December 2018

ALSA 2018 Conference

ANJeL co-hosted its largest conference in its history with the Asian Law and Society Association (ALSA) Conference (“Law in the Asian Century”) at the Gold Coast from 29 November to 1 December. Spanning three days, the first was an Early Career Workshop for 12 PhD students and early career researchers from Australia, the US and across Asia (organized by Jonathan Liljeblad of Swinburne University of Technology and Hitoshi Ushijima of Chuo University). The next two days were the main conference with two plenary sessions (the opening and closing ceremonies) and 43 concurrent panels.

170 registered speakers and about 180 attendees participated. There were four keynote speakers: President Ik-Hyeon Rhee of the Korea Legislative Research Institute and Dean Pip Nicholson of the Melbourne Law School opened the conference; Professor Dan Foote of the University of Tokyo provided the ALSA dinner keynote, and A/Professor Lynette Chua of the National University of Singapore closed the event.

Delegates came across Australia, Asia, Europe and the US. Over 20 countries and territories were represented among the speakers: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, the Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

Of the 38 Australian law schools, Australian speakers represented 16 different institutions: ANU, Australian Catholic University, Bond, Deakin, Griffith, Macquarie, Melbourne, Monash, QUT, Southern Cross University, Swinburne, Sydney, UNSW, University of Queensland, University of the Sunshine Coast and Wollongong.

In addition to ANJeL, Bond University (which provided the venue and event management services), QUT, ALSA and Cambridge University Press sponsored ALSA2018.

3–5 July 2018

ASAA 2018 Conference

The biennial Asian Studies Association of Australia conference was held at the University of Sydney, organised by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, the China Studies Centre and the School of Languages and Culture.

26 March 2018

Private and Public Law Reform in Japan: Directions and Comparisons

The topics of the lunch seminar were held at the Sydney Law School:

  • The 2017 Reform of the Law of Obligations in Japan: Impetus, Rulemaking Process and Outcome;

  • Decentralization reform in Japan. Ambitions to create real Local-Self Governments and the framework of the constitution.

Seminar speakers were ANJeL visiting academics Dr Marc Dernauer and Dr Towa Niimura.

22–23 March 2018

Japan-Australia Energy Dialogue

A conference focusing on energy law and policy in Japan and Australia. The theme of this event centres on redesigning energy policy and regulation to promote innovation and achieve deep decarbonisation in Australia and Japan. This stems from need to review and reform national level law and policy to meet the Paris Agreement’s target of zero net emissions by 2050.

2017 Events

16 February 2017

International Investment Arbitration Across Asia

the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CUPLUS) and the Sydney Centre for International Law (SCIL) co-hosted a symposium on the theme: "International Investment Arbitration Across Asia". The symposium, sponsored also by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and Herbert Smith Freehills, brought together leading experts of international investment law from Southeast Asia, North Asia, India and Oceania. The symposium re-examined the historical development of international investment treaties in the Asian region, focusing on whether and how the countries may be shifting from rule takes to rule makers. A focus was on the ASEAN(+) treaties, including the (ASEAN+6) Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at an advanced stage of negotiations, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, which was discussed more broadly as an urgent topic in the wake of the change of direction by the US under the new administration. Participants at the symposium also elaborated on the experiences of Asian countries with ISDS mechanisms, and the attitude towards ISDS before and after first major investor-state arbitration (ISA) cases in the region. For more information about the symposium click here.

2016 Events

Transacting with the Asia‐Pacific: Theory and Practice: Alongside the International Law and Global Governance (ILGG) Program at QUT and the Asia‐Pacific Legal Institute of Australia (APLIA), ANJeL co‐hosted a research workshop on Asia‐Pacific transactions with contributions from both scholars and practitioners. The event took place on Friday 30 September at QUT. Growing interest among the local practising community is an encouraging trend.

Brisbane Seminar on Australian Law: The 2016 Osaka seminar ended on 30 September with great success. The highlights were (a) cuddling a koala; (b) seeing a QCAT (tribunal) trial between unrepresented (but visibly emotional) parties to a building dispute; and (c) a class on legal education with three QUT students to interact with the Osaka kids.

Collective self-defence symposium: Together with the UNSW Faculty of Law and the Gilbert & Tobin Centre of Public Law, ANJeL co-hosted a symposium on collective self-defence and the Article 9 "peace clause" of Japan's post-War Constitution, on Friday 12 August 2016. Speakers included Profs Yasuo Hasebe (Waseda), Hajime Yamamoto (Keio), Craig Martin (Washburn), A/Prof Hitoshi Nasu (ANU) and Prof Ros Dixon (UNSW, convenor).

Contract and Consumer Law Reform: A number of ANJeL members and other experts presented a seminar on Contract and Consumer Law Reform in Asia hosted by CAPLUS (Centre for Asian and Pacific Law, University of Sydney) on 10 August 2016. Among other speakers were Assoc Prof Jeannie Paterson (University of Melbourne),Prof Luke Nottage (University of Sydney), Prof Hiroo Sono (Hokkaido University), Prof Bing Ling (University of Sydney) and Prof Sakda Thanitcul (Chulalongkorn University).

Integrity in Asian Sport Symposium: ANJeL co-hosted a symposium on Integrity in Asian Sport together with the Sydney Law School, on Monday 8 August 2016. The experts in sports law examined the confluence of Asian regionalism and integrity in sport.

Abe and the Law conference was held on 1 July 2016 and was hosted by the Queensland University of Technology (Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane). The conference explored the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo’s move to office for the Liberal Democratic Party in a landslide victory in 2012. In the process, Japan’s foray into two-party politics collapsed and a new economic orthodoxy (dubbed ‘Abenomics’) was born. But what has happened to Japanese law and society under Abe’s leadership? This conference debated whether Abe’s administration is transforming Japanese law in its institutional design and its socio-economic impact and weather it is possible to discern an “Abe-prudence”.

Kyoto/Tokyo Seminar in Japanese Law: The Kyoto Seminar and Tokyo Seminar were held over 8-12 February 2016 and 15-16 February 2016, respectively. These courses are always popular and some institutions offer course credit for student participation. These events are held annually and ANJeL welcomes expressions of interest for participation in future years.

2015 Events

Arbitration and Negotiation Competition: Team Australia competed in the Intercollegiate Arbitration and Negotiation Competition in Tokyo in late 2015. This team brought together 10 students from University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, Australian National University and Monash University. Read more about the team and its sponsors here.

Gold Coast Seminar on Australian Law: ANJeL ran the fourth iteration of the Gold Coast Seminar on Australian Law from 31 August to 11 September. Leon Wolff coordinated and taught in this program. He also contributed to the Osaka University course on Australian Law coordinated by Professor Kota Fukui while a research fellow in Japan.

Reconciliation Conference - USydney: ANJeL supported a conference entitled “Wounds, Scars, and Healing: Civil Society and Postwar Pacific Basin Reconciliation”, commemorating the 70th anniversary since the end of the war. The conference was held at the University of Sydney over 30 September - 2 October 2015. The conference involved the performance of a noh drama written by USydney Emeritus Professor Allan Marett. The conference information page

Lunch Seminar – University of Sydney: On 10 September, ANJeL Visitor / Professor Kichimoto Asaka from the University of Tokyo presented on the topic “Novel subject matter-specific dispute resolution mechanisms in Japan” at a lunchtime seminar at the University of Sydney. The abstract for this talk is as follows:

“In the 2010s, Japan enacted several dispute resolution mechanisms involving the government, to varying extents:

  1. Accredited consumer groups may sue businesses for injunctions regarding deceptive, misleading, or unconscionable contract terms and, under a newer law, collect damages for victimised consumers.

  2. Certified financial ADR institutions mediate disputes between financial institutions and investors.

  3. A government-sponsored nuclear accident ADR centre mediates disputes between Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident victims. Are they supplemental mechanisms for access to justice, or paternalistic remedies for public grievances?”

Bond University Conference: ANJeL co-sponsored a conference at Bond University entitled “Global Order and Disorder: Governance and Regulation in the 21st Century”. The host organisation was the Transnational, International and Comparative Law and Policy Network (TICLP) and the conference was held over 7-8 August 2015. See and for more details.

Book launch: On 3 August 2015, Chicago Law School Prof Tom Ginsburg launched two new books by ANJeL members/co-directors as part of a Comparative Law conference at the UNSW Law Faculty in Sydney:

ANJeL Commemorative Conference: ANJeL held its 13th annual conference at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, on Thursday 12 February 2015 (4-7pm). This conference reflected upon 10 years of the Kyoto and Tokyo Seminars on Japanese Law, a collaborative teaching venture with ANJeL. Over 50 students registered for the 2015 program, which continues to be popular among Australian law students from USyd, ANU and other schools.

Independent Directors in Asia book project: Following a preliminary conference at the German-Japan Centre Berlin last year (, the National University of Singapore hosted this February a conference where co-authors presented and actively discussed full manuscripts: This fascinating corporate governance project, critically assessing the eastward spread of independent directors requirements, is led by Harald Baum (ANJeL advisor, comparing the US/EU), Souichirou Kozuka (ASEAN in Japan – Kanto convenor, comparing Japan), Luke Nottage (comparing Australia), and Dan Puchniak (ANJeL in ASEAN convenor, comparing Singapore), also co-authoring some other chapters. The project also involves Vivienne Bath (ANJeL Deputy Director at USydney, comparing Hong Kong) and also covers mainland China, Taiwan, Korea and India.

2014 Events

ANJeL sent a team to the 13th Intercollegiate Negotiation (and Arbitration) Competition. Sydney Law School, in cooperation with the Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL), put together a team of students to join “Team Australia” to compete in the competition, which was in Tokyo on 29-30 November 2014. The team very successfully placed third overall in the competition.

Law of the Sea: ANJeL co-director Hitoshi Nasu organised a workshop on Maritime Security in the South China Sea over 3-4 November 2014, including his colleague ANU Prof Don Rothwell and USydney’s A/Prof Tim Stephens. This workshop discussed maritime security issues that arise from the South China Sea disputes, particularly from the perspectives of those countries that are not directly involved in the dispute.

Nagoya University Intensive Course: ANJeL co-director Leon Wolff was invited to deliver an 8-part intensive course over 6-17 October at the Graduate School of Law at Nagoya University on Japanese corporate governance in the Leading Program "Cross-Border Legal Institution Design." He also gave a guest lecture at Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy on "Lifelong Employment in Japan: Law and Lore".

ANJeL supported a conference in Berlin on “Berlin conference on "Independent Directors in Japan and Other Major Asian Jurisdictions" on 17-19 July, 2014, a two-day conference open to public, plus half-day closed session for editors and authors of a conference volume.

ANJeL, in conjunction with James Cook University Faculty of Law, Business and Creative Arts, hosted the 12th ANJeL symposium on Japanese Law on Friday 16 May 2014 in Cairns, co-organised by JCU Associate Prof Justin Dabner. The primary focus of the symposium was on “Japanese Law and Business amidst Bilateral and Regional Free Trade Agreements”, however papers were presented on a wide range of topics.

The Centre for Asian and Pacific Law (CAPLUS) and ANJeL presented a seminar with Professor Bruce Aronson, from Hitotsubashi University, Japan on Corporate Governance in North Asia on 14 May 2014. Please see the University of Sydney Events page for more information.

A book based on ANJeL’s 2012 Anniversary Conference has been published by Springer and was launched on 18 March 2014, a week after the third anniversary of Japan’s Triple Disasters. The book was launched by the Hon Robert McClelland, former federal Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Services and the event was hosted at Herbert Smith Freehills.

ANJeL hosted a free roundtable discussion on how complaints and disputes between lawyers and their clients are handled. The seminar compared Japan, the UK and Australia and was held on Thursday, 6 March 2014 at the University of Sydney Law School. Speakers included Professor Shiro Kashimura from Kobe University and Professor Masaki Abe from Osaka City University.

2013 Events

Comparative contract law seminar: ANJeL and the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS) held an invitation-only symposium at Sydney Law School on Friday, 6 December to compare “Contract Law Reform in Asia”. Speakers from abroad included Professors Kenji Saigusa (Waseda University), Andrew Pardieck (Southern Illinois University), Jonghyu Jeong (Chonnam National University), Paripurna Sugarda (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia), Prof Yang Lixin (Renmin University, Beijing) and Prof Yao Hui (Renmin University, Beijing; now seconded to the Supreme People's Court).

The Gold Coast Seminar at Bond University was held from 26 August to 6 September 2013. This seminar introduces Australian law to Japanese law students, and is coordinated by ANJeL Co-director Leon Wolff.

ANJeL presented a four-paper panel on “Political Change Versus Law Reform Continuity: Japanese Law After Three Years of Enthusiasm and Disillusionment” for the 10th Asian Law Institute Conference in Bangalore on 23-24 May 2013.

ANJeL sponsored a lunchtime comparative law seminar on 7 March led by Professor Masato Ichikawa and colleagues from Ritsumeikan University. This presentation was on a Japanese Ministry of Education research project on the “Role of the Supreme Court and the Appointment System of its Justices in Japan”.

The 2013 Canberra Seminar was held on 4-15 February, co-ordinated by ANJeL co-director Hitoshi Nasu. There were 33 student participants (16 from Aoyama Gakuin and 17 from Ritsumeikan University).

ANJeL participated in a follow-up seminar to last year’s ANJeL Anniversary conference on "Socio-legal norms in preventing and managing disasters in Japan and the Asia-Pacific" at Tohoku University on 9-10 February 2013.

The 2013 Kyoto and Tokyo Seminars in Japanese Law were held over 6-9 and 12-13 February. Please visit the new website:

The Canberra Seminar was held on 4-15 February, coordinated by ANJeL Co-director Hitoshi Nasu.

ANJeL sponsored a lunchtime seminar on 7 March presented by Professor Ichikawa from Ritsumeikan University. This presentation was on a Japanese Ministry of Education research project on the “Role of the Supreme Court and the Appointment System of its Justices in Japan”.

ANJeL presented a four-paper panel on “Political Change Versus Law Reform Continuity: Japanese Law After Three Years of Enthusiasm and Disillusionment” for the 10th Asian Law Institute Conference in Bangalore on 23-24 May 2013.

2012 Events

ANJeL Advisor and International Bar Association President Akira Kawamura presented a keynote presentation on 3 December 2012 at the first Australasian Forum for International Arbitration (AFIA) symposium in Tokyo, Japan. This event was hosted by Freshfields with the participation of ANJeL's Team Australia in the Intercollegiate Arbitration and Negotiation Competition in Tokyo.

Dr Machiko Kanetake, ANJeL Visitor from the Amsterdam Center for International Law, gave a free lunch-time seminar (1-2pm) on Tuesday 23 October at Sydney Law School, entitled "The application of ‘informal’ international instruments before domestic courts: The case of Japan".

Professor Nakamura and Luke Nottage participated on 12 September 2012 in Brisbane in an interactive AFIA (Australasian Forum for International Arbitration) symposium hosted by Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

ANJeL supported a seminar on “International Arbitration in UNCITRAL Model Law Jurisdictions: Comparing Recent Developments in Japan” which took place on 13 September 2012.

ANJeL hosted the Gold Coast Seminar on Australian Law in August/September for Japanese law students, primarily from Osaka University.

Professors Tatsuya Nakamura, J Romesh Weeramantry and Luke Nottage presented a public seminar at JCAA in Tokyo on 20 July 2012 to compare recent developments in jurisdictions that have based their arbitration legislation on the UNCITRAL Model Law (respectively: Japan, Hong Kong and Australia).

ANJeL supported an international conference on "Japanese Law, French Law, What Dialogue?"

at the University of Lyon over 10-11 May, 2012. ANJeL members presenting papers included Profs Kozuka (corporate governance) and Vanoverbeke (Meiji-era juries) and Dr Giraudot (globalisation and legal method).

A book on Foreign Investment and Dispute Resolution in Asia (including Japan), co-edited by ANJeL Co-Director Luke Nottage and Deputy Director Vivienne Bath, was launched in Sydney on 22 March.

10th ANJeL International Conference, “Socio-legal Norms in Preventing and Managing Disasters in Japan: Asia-Pacific and Interdisciplinary Perspectives”: This anniversary conference, commemorating Japan’s “3-11” disaster in 2011 as well as ANJeL’s decade-long efforts to compare Japanese Law in broad context, which took place on 1-2 March 2012 at Sydney Law School was a great success. A Radio Australia news story which resulted from the conference can be found here, and a further news item can be found on the University of Sydney website. The Japanese Law blog contains a debrief of the conference. Click here for images

4th ANJeL Australia-Japan Business Law Seminar took place at Herbert Smith, Tokyo, on 11 February 2012. This seminar compared developments in Australian labour law (Prof Joellen Riley) and the new “Australian Consumer Law” (Prof Luke Nottage), including dispute management aspects and with comments/comparisons from Herbert Smith lawyer Peter Coney and Gakushuin University Prof Souichirou Kozuka.

2011 Events

ANJeL’s 3rd Australia – Japan Business Law Update CLE Seminar took place in Tokyo on Saturday 12 February 2010. The Kyoto and Tokyo Seminar intensive courses in Japanese Law were offered over 7-17 February 2011. See also

ANJeL Member Dan Puchniak coordinated a panel for the 8th Asian Law Institute Conference - Law in Sustainable Asia, held at Kyushu University in Japan on 26-27 March 2011.

ANJeL has organised a panel on "Internationalising Japanese Law: Sport, Culture and Dispute Resolution" for the JSAA biennial conference in Melbourne 4-7 July

ANJeL Co-director Luke Nottage was a guest speaker at the Sydney Centre for International Law seminar, "Australia's new policy on investor-state dispute settlement", held in Sydney on 3 August 2011.

ANJeL Co-director Luke Nottage was a guest speaker at the Sydney Centre for International Law seminar, "Building an Asia-Pacific Community", held in Sydney on 30 August 2011.

2010 Events

On Friday 29 October 2010, the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney hosted a symposium on foreign investment and finance law in Asia, including several papers dealing with Japan.

ANJeL co-sponsored the Gold Coast International Conference on “The Future of Japanese Law?” on 15 November 2010 at the Faculty of Law, Bond University.

On 19 November at Sydney Law School, ANJeL-in-ASEAN Program Convenor gave a lunchtime seminar on Shareholder Derivative Actions in Japan and Asia.

ANJeL coordinated two Panels comparing judicial reform initiatives in Japan at the inaugural East Asian Law and Society Conference, at the University of Hong Kong over 5-6 February 2010. Panel 11's abstracts focused on criminal justice, which is available here. The other broader Panel 16's abstracts are here.

The 2nd ANJeL “Australia Japan Business Law Update” CLE Seminar was held at Ernst & Young’s Tokyo office on 13 February. The two main themes were the amended Double Tax Treaty and post-GFC financial markets developments: please see the attached flyer:

The Kyoto and Tokyo Seminar intensive courses in Japanese Law were offered over 8-18 February 2010. See also

ANJeL-in-ASEAN Program Convenor, Dan Puchniak, organised a panel involving ANJeL members focused mainly on Japanese corporate governance for the Asian Law Institute (ASLI) conference in Kuala Lumpur on 25-6 May. Find out more

ANJeL Co-directors, and former ANJeL Visitors David Johnson and Makoto Ibusuki, provided a Report on Japan for a five-country comparison of judicial sector reforms as part of a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project for the government of Vietnam. The project was coordinated through USydney’s Research Institute for the Asia-Pacific (RIAP).

ANJeL supported an international symposium hosted over Friday 11 - Saturday 12 June organised by the Maison Franco-Japonaise in Tokyo: "Japanese, Chinese and Indian Investments In and Out: New Trends in the Globalization of Law Within and From Asia". It brought together a diverse group of academic researchers and practitioners, including several ANJeL members. The Program is here.

2009 Events

Sydney Law School hosted the fourth Consumer Law Roundtable on 4 December, focusing on "Consumer Law and Policy in the Asia-Pacific". A special guest was Professor Tsuneo Matsumoto, who has been heavily involved in Japan's consumer law reform over the last decade, including the recent establishment of an independent Consumers Agency. A flier is available here.

International Conference on "Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific: Towards Institution Building" in Sydney on 27-28 November 2009

ANJeL co-hosted this major conference in partnership with the Sydney Centre for International Law (SCIL), the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS), and the Australian Human Rights Centre at UNSW. Speakers include former members of the International Human Rights Committee and leading international law and human rights scholars in the Asia-Pacific region. More details are available here.

On Monday 21 September Mr. Akira Kawamura (Vice President of the International Bar Association and Partner at Anderson, Mori and Tomotsune) spoke at a Sydney University Law Society (SULS) Luncheon for Sydney University Students. Mr Kawamura spoke about evolving global legal practice and the work of the International Bar Association.

Professor Kazuo Sugeno, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo Law School, and author of Japanese Employment and Labour Law among other texts spoke at the new Sydney Law School from 6 pm to 7.30 pm on Friday 31st August 2009 on "Towards a New Form of Flexicurity?: The Fluctuating Employment System in Japan" as part of the Sydney Law School Distinguished Speakers Program 2009. Click here for more details.

Public Lecture: "Does the WTO Really Settle International Trade Disputes?" 30 July 2009, Sydney

Professor Taniguchi gave a public lecture entitled "Does the WTO Really Settle International Trade Disputes?" at the new Sydney Law School building Thursday 30 July 2009. Find out more.

ANJeL Panel at Joint JSAA/ICJLE Conference: 13-16 July 2009, Sydney

ANJeL sponsored a panel presentation entitled "Bridging the Gap between Japanese Language and Japanese Legal Studies" at the joint Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA) : International Conference on Japanese Language Education (ICJLE) 2009 conference held in Sydney across 13-16 July 2009 at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney. This panel focused on the interaction between legal studies and language in a variety of contexts, including as part of undergraduate, post-graduate and international legal education.

Professor Kent Anderson presented a paper entitled "The Language in Teaching Comparative Japanese Law: Can Legal Studies and Language Studies Be Combined? - Two Case Studies." This paper relies on two case studies to investigate whether combining Japanese legal studies with Japanese language studies compromises the pedagogical outcomes. Put differently, does combing language and legal studies inhibit achieving educational outcomes for either, or can both objectives be accomplished in the classroom? The first case study is a negotiation simulation exercise conducted for four years that has Australian students and Japanese students negotiating a contract and resolving a dispute under that contract through video negotiation and email exchange. The students are divided into three teams that negotiate in Japanese, English and a mixture of the two languages. The course seeks to teach negotiation and legal drafting skills, and provides a means by which students can develop their professional Japanese language skills. The second case study is course taught for four years that leads towards students participating in an arbitration and negotiation mooting competition in Japanese. This course seeks to develop legal reasoning, arbitration practice, negotiation skills, and provides a means by which students can develop their professional Japanese language skills. Deeper analysis is warranted, but preliminary outcomes suggest the following. These courses inspire students which allows for more student-led learning. The practical skills focus of the courses fills a hole in the Australian legal education curriculum. Students' professional language skills develop, but perhaps more importantly the exercise provides an opportunity for students to make a realistic assessment of their own language skills. Challenges include increased cost of innovative educational design, the infrastructure costs of the models, and the bounded skill set of the teaching staff.

Associate Professor Luke Nottage presented on "The Cultural (Re)Turn in Japanese Law vs Challenges to Japanese Language Literacy: The Kyoto/Tokyo Seminars as a Partial Response". This paper considers translating legal rules, principles and cultures with a focus on the annual international program held in Japan called The Kyoto and Tokyo Seminars. The program allows non-Japanese students to learn about Japanese Law in Japan. The paper considers Japanese legal studies from a first wave of culturalist approaches to Japanese Law; a model instead emphasising the institutional barriers to invoking the law in Japan; another model emphasising "elite management"; and a very different "economic analysis" of Japanese law-related behaviour. Finally, it examines an emerging "hybrid paradigm" that takes more seriously new understandings and measures of culture and community. Interpreting foreign legalese can be hard enough. But the most difficult task often lies in conveying the way it is embedded in a broader socio-legal praxis and discourse abroad. If we want to bring back (more sophisticated) "culture" into non-Japanese students' studies of Japanese Law, we need to promote Japanese language study too.

Ms Stacey Steele's presentation was entitled "Impact of the abolition of the undergraduate law degree on the integration of legal and language studies at the University of Melbourne." This paper comments on the impact of the Melbourne Model and the abolition of the LL.B at the University of Melbourne on the ability and desire of students to combine language and law study. Reflecting her personal interest as convenor of the Japan Program at the Melbourne Law School, the paper focuses on graduates from Japanese language and studies courses. The Melbourne Law School experienced its first intake of Juris Doctor (JD) students under the new Melbourne Model in 2008. Accordingly, it is difficult to identify any trends in relation to student preferences. Further, given the decline in students studying Japanese and the popularity of combined LL.B/Commerce degrees, the issue of attracting students with language skills to law is not new. However, the Melbourne Law School's departure from the traditional Australian model of LL.B/BA poses new challenges to non-English speaking legal studies scholars. At the Asian Law Centre, ways to keep Asian legal studies relevant and attractive are explored. Perhaps there are lessons to be learned from the United States where post-graduate legal education is the norm. Japan itself, may also offer up solutions in light of its recent move to post-graduate Law Schools, but the initial experience there seems to reflect a decline in student interest in any courses that are not directly related to the National Bar Examination. In Australia, we do not teach in the shadow of a bar examination, but there are still market and regulatory constraints on students when they choose optional subjects which may enable them to combine legal studies and language skills. Part of the answer may lay in extra-curricular activities, new research seminars, funding for research associates, scholarships and further post-graduate study.

Dr Ikuko Nakane of the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne served as the Panel Chair and Discussant.

Official Launch of ANJeL's first book Corporate Governance in the 21st Century: Japan's Gradual Transformation by The Honourable James Spigelman, AC, Chief Justice of New South Wales

Chief Justice Spigelman launched the book, edited by Luke Nottage, Leon Wolff and Kent Anderson and published by Edward Elgar, on the evening of Thursday 18 June 2009 at the new Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney campus, with the support of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS). The occasion also marked the launch of a new edition of Law of International Business in Australasia, which ANJeL member Vivienne Bath of the University of Sydney co-authored for the first time (more information is available here). The flier for the event and text of the Chief Justice's speech are available here.

Kyoto Seminar on Japanese Law in the Global Era: 9-13 February 2009, Kyoto

Tokyo Seminar on Japanese Law and the Economy: 16-20 February 2009, Tokyo

ANJeL offered two intensive courses for Australian law students with Ritsumeikan University Law School. The Kyoto Seminar examined the response of Japanese law to globalization, covering criminal law, civil justice, business regulation, consumer rights, gender equity and public law. The Tokyo Seminar examined the relationship between economic change and law reform in Japan, exploring employment law, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, commercial dispute resolution, foreign investment regulation and the legal profession.

For more information see the official website: and further details on this website are available here.

ANJeL's Inaugural Continuing Legal Education ("CLE") Seminar in Japan: "Update on Australian-Japanese Law" 14 February 2009, Tokyo (morning)

This CLE Seminar was held at the Tokyo Campus of Ritsumeikan University and featured updates by Tokyo-based practitioners and ANJeL directors on:

  1. Infrastructure resource contracts between Australian and Asian firms.

  2. Accession to the UN Sales Convention in Australia and Japan.

  3. International commercial arbitration and litigation.

  4. Enforcement of Australian judgments in Japan.

  5. Directors' duties during a credit crunch.

The CLE Seminar delivered academically and practically relevant information to meet the professional needs of lawyers who work at the interface of Australian and Japanese law or who are interested in moving into this market. Excluding refreshment breaks, the CLE was be three hours in duration and worth 3 points of MCLE (NSW) or CPD (Victoria and Queensland). A program is available here. Presentations are available here.

7th ANJeL International Conference: "Crisis and the Law" 14 February 2009, Tokyo (afternoon)

ANJeL hosted its 7th international conference on Japanese law on the afternoon of Saturday 14 February 2008 at the Tokyo Campus of Ritsumeikan University. The theme of the conference was "Crisis and the Law".

The world is gripped by a financial crisis of unprecedented scale. Major financial institutions, such as Lehman Brothers, have spectacularly failed. Others, such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, have been saved through nationalisation. Stock markets have plunged. Consumer prices are rising. Business confidence is at all-time lows. Japan is also experiencing crises beyond the economic. Prime Minister Aso has taken over the presidency of an increasingly unstable Liberal Democratic Party after his predecessors Abe and Fukuda lasted less than a year each as leaders. A series of unprovoked murders have led to speculation that a lack of job security is leading to the alienation of Japanese youth.

This conference queried the role of law in Japan's economic, political, social, and in particular, environmental crises? Is it cause or cure, solution or problem? How do Japanese institutions and processes compare with those in other countries in dealing with such crises? A program and abstracts are available here. Presentations are available here.

ANJeL Workshop: "Who Judges Japanese Law?" 15 February 2009, Tokyo (afternoon)

In November 2008, ANJeL's edited book, Corporate Governance in the Twenty-First Century: Japan's Gradual Transformation, was published by Edward Elgar. The book features essays by ANJeL members who are leading academics and lawyers in their respective fields.

ANJeL is now in the initial stages of planning a follow-up volume. Tentatively titled Who Governs Japanese Law? Popular Participation in Japan's Legal Process, the book examines the role of the community in adjudicative and other legal processes in Japan. The book uses the long-standing debate about who governs Japan as its starting point, but focuses less on the bureaucratic control of the economy and more on popular constraints over elite control of the legal system. Some examples of this include the introduction of the new saiban'in system in Japanese criminal justice, the involvement of union and management representatives in the management of labour disputes as well as greater involvement of shareholders in corporate governance decision-making.

ANJeL welcomes any members who have an interest in the involvement of the community in legal matters to contribute to this book project. Participants are asked to prepare a two-page abstract of their proposed contribution so that ideas may be shared in preparation of a book proposal to be submitted to Edward Elgar or other publishers.

Inquiries and abstracts should be directed to

Canberra Seminar in Australian Law

This two-week intensive seminar on Australian law for Japanese law students was again in Canberra in February 2009. Details of past Canberra Seminars are available here.

2008 Events

21 July 2008:ANJeL provided a "Japanese Corporate Governance" Asian Law CLE Seminar in association with CAPLUS at the Sydney University Law School. Click here for the presentations given by Professor Souichiro Kozuka, Associate Professor Luke Nottage, and Michael Ryland and Geread Dooley. For the flier of this seminar please click here.

12 June 2008: On 12 June 2008, ANJeL co-hosted a "Cocktails and Corporate Governance" reception with Blake Dawson in Sydney. Find out more.

28 May 2008: ANJeL co-hosted a seminar on "Interrogating Suspects, Confessions and Videotaping in Australia" with the Kyoto Bar Association on 28 May 2008. Find out more.

22 May 2008: On 22 May 2008 ANJeL co-hosted "Breaking New Ground: An Evening with Young Success Stories" with the Australia-Japan Society of NSW in Sydney. The text of the presentation given by the members of the successful 2007 Intercollegiate Negotiation and Arbitration Competition Team is available here. For the flier of this event please click here.

18-22 February 2008: The new Tokyo Seminar in Japanese Law was held for the first time.

16 February 2008: ANJeL held its ANJeL's annual conference for 2008, "Beyond Country and Western Law", at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto on 16 February 2008. Find out more.

12-15 February 2008: The Kyoto Seminar in Japanese Law was held at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.

11-18 February 2008: The Canberra Seminar in Australian Law was held at the Australian National University.

2007 Events

July 2007: ANJeL held its 2007 annual international conference at the Australian National University in Canberra on 5-6 July 2007. The conference followed the Japanese Studies Association of Australia Week at ANU from 1-4 July 2007.

February 2007: ANJeL held two student intensive courses in February 2007. The "Kyoto Seminar in Japanese Law", an intensive course taught in English to Japanese and international students by lecturers from Japan and Australia, was held at Ritsumeikan University over 5-9 February 2007. The "Canberra Seminar in Australian Law", an intensive course taught to Japanese student covering English for Lawyers and an Introduction to Australian Law, was held at ANU over 5-16 February 2007.

2006 Events

December 2006: ANJeL won the Japanese Intercollegiate Negotiation and Arbitration Competition held in Tokyo in early December 2006.

November 2006: ANJeL assisted with two Japanese law events hosted at The University of Western Sydney School of Law and with Meiji University.

July 2006: In early July the Chief Justice of NSW took a delegation of Australian judges to Japan to hold talks with their Japanese counterparts. His Honour also gave some public lectures in Tokyo.

1-3 March 2006: Dr Harald Baum (ANJeL Research Visitor and Advisory Board member) led seminars on comparative corporate governance at the Sydney office of Blake Dawson (coordinated by Advisory Board member Michael Ryland, and involving also ANJeL Director Luke Nottage and Prof Souichirou Kozuka), at the University of Wollongong (coordinated by Prof Christoph Antons), and ANU in Canberra (coordinated by ANJeL Director Kent Anderson).

28 February 2006: ANJeL held an international conference on "War of the Worlds in Japanese Law? Implications for Business Law Harmonisation" at UNSW on 28 February. The conference coincided with the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange, and the visit of the general editor of the Journal of Japanese Law (Dr Harald Baum). Click here for the Program, and here for some presentation materials now publically available.

2005 Events

11 September 2005: ANJeL held an informal dinner in Kyoto on 11 September at "Ganko-Sushi Nijo-en". This preceded the inaugural "Kyoto Seminar" series of Japanese Law intensive lectures.

26 July 2005: Luke Nottage gave a CLE seminar at the NSW Bar Association, facilitated by ANJeL, on "Who's Afraid of the Vienna Sales Convention (CISG)? A New Zealander's View from Australia and Japan".

5 July 2005: Kent Anderson convened and spoke at a panel on "Legal Reform" at the Japan Studies Association of Australia's biennial conference, held this time at the University of Adelaide. He spoke on the saiban in (lay assessor) reforms, Carol Lawson on privacy law, and Trevor Ryan on criminal justice for juveniles. (Relatedly, Jeff Kingston presented a paper on "Information Disclosure in Japan", at the "Political Reform" panel.)

25 May 2005: ANJeL facilitated a USyd Law Faculty staff seminar (also open to ANJeL members) for Dr Julian Dierkes (visiting from UBC). His paper on "Integrating Dispute Resolution into Japanese Legal Education" focused on how ADR courses have been introduced into Japan's new postgrad law schools. Luke Nottage contrasted developments especially in Australia in ADR, and gave more context on Japan's law schools reforms. A lively discussion ensued.

23 February 2005: ANJeL hosted an international conference in Japanese Law at the University Sydney. ANJeL wishes to thank Japan Foundation for their generous financial support for the conference. The theme of the conference was "Japanese Law on Trial".

21 February 2005: ANJeL Inaugural Affiliate Asian Law Centre, with support from the Japan Foundation, hosted a conference at University of Melbourne entitled “Build It and They Will Come: The First Anniversary of Law Schools in Japan”. All three directors of ANJeL, and several other members, gave presentations. Papers are being prepared for publication in special numbers of the Journal of Japanese Law, as well as the Australian Journal of Asian Law.

2004 Events

9 December 2004: ANJeL Co-Directors, Dr Luke Nottage and Kent Anderson, collaborated with the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan on "The Changing Face of Corporate Governance: Reforms in Australia and Japan".

26 November 2004: ANJeL co-hosted a small workshop with Doshisha Law School, in Kyoto on “Australasian and Global Perspectives for Japanese Law Reform Processes: Legal Education, Commercial Regulation, and Beyond”, when most or all of the ANJeL co-directors expect to be in Japan. Please check ANJeL workshop webpage for more information.

22 June 2004: ANJeL hosted an international conference in Japanese Law at UNSW on Tuesday, 22 June 2004. The theme of the conference was "Japanese Law's Place in the World and the World's Place in Japanese Law". The Conference comprised twelve paper presentation, followed by a stipulative discussion on the ideas and themes emerging from the conference. Please click here for the list of paper presentation (some of the materials are available in PDF format).

2003 Events

26 November 2003: Professor Makoto Ibusuki of Ritsumeikan University Law Faculty led a roundtable discussion on "The Ongoing (R)evolution of IT in Japanese Law and Judicial Reform in Japan" on Wednesday 26 November, at the Faculty of Law, UNSW.

30 October 2003: Luke Nottage presented a paper on "Comparing Product Safety and Liability Law in Japan " at a USydney Law Faculty staff seminar. 8 September 2003: ANJeL Research Visitor, Professor David Johnson of Hawaii University, led a roundtable discussion on comparative criminal justice at UNSW before delivering a paper at a USydney Law Faculty staff seminar.

7 July 2003: ANJeL hosted a Continuing Legal Education seminar on the "Americanisation of Japanese Law: Civil Justice Reform and the Business World", USydney CLE, Sydney, New South Wales. The presenters were: Setuso Miyazawa, Kent Anderson, Kengo Miyamoto, Luke Nottage, Ian Williams, Michael Ryland and Leon Wolff.

2-4 July 2003: ANJeL hosted a special roundtable discussion on “Turbulence and Traction in Japanese Regulatory Style: Evaluating Recent Reforms to Japanese Law” at the 12th Biennial Conference of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland.

2002 Events

22-23 July 2002: ANU, USydney and UNSW jointly hosted an international colloquium on “Into the Grove of Japanese Law: Perspectives and Paradigms”, UNSW, Sydney, New South Wales. Speakers came from Australia, Japan and North America.