The Points at Issue in the Judicial Reform

December 21, 1999

The Judicial Reform Council

I. Establishment and Deliberation of the Judicial Reform Council (JRC)

1. Establishment of the Judicial Reform Council

The Judicial Reform Council (hereinafter referred to as the "JRC") was established in the Cabinet based on the Law concerning Establishment of Judicial Reform Council(Law No.68, promulgated on June 9, 1999). Article 2 of the said Law stipulates that "The Judicial Reform Council shall consider fundamental measures necessary for judicial reform and judicial infrastructure arrangement by defining the role of the Japanese administration of justice in the 21st century. The agenda of the Council may include the realization of a more accessible and user-friendly judicial system, public participation in the judicial system, redefinition of the legal profession and reinforcement of its function. The JRC shall state its opinion to the Cabinet based on the results from investigations and deliberations conducted according to the preceding provision."
The former Minister of Justice Jinnouchi explained the gist of the establishment of the JRC, saying, "In the 21st century, the Japanese society will become more complex, varied and international, and that deregulation and other reforms shall transform our advanced-control type society into a post-check type society. Changes of the society in many ways will make the role of administration of justice more crucial than ever.It is indispensable to reform and reinforce the judicial function so that it shall be able to respond to the social needs." (Explanation of the gist of the draft of the said Law at the Judiciary Committee, the House of Representatives, the 145th session of the Diet)
In Paragraph 4 of the Supplementary Resolution of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, it is stipulated that "the JRC shall thoroughly deliberate on important issues regarding the judicial system under debate such as introduction of judicial appointment system under which most judges are appointed from those with legal practice experiences as lawyers(hereinafter referred to as "Hosoichigen") and reinforcement of the quality and quantity of the legal profession, public participation in the judicial system and the relationship of human rights and criminal justice," also in Paragraph 2 of the Supplementary Resolution of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Councillors, it is stipulated that "Upon conducting examinations and deliberations of fundamental measures such as the realization of a more accessible and user-friendly judicial system, public participation in the judicial system, Hosoichigen-system and reinforcement of the quality and quantity of the legal profession, attention should be paid to the realization of the Constitutional concepts such as the guarantee of fundamental human rights and the rule of law. In particular, examination/analysis of present conditions of administration of justice requires plural viewpoints of the users of the judicial system."
The JRC is composed of the members not exceeding thirteen persons from people of academic standing who are appointed by the Cabinet with the consent of both Houses (Articles 3 and 4 of the said Law), and upon selection of the members, it is stipulated that "efforts shall be made so that the actual condition of the judicial system is fully grasped and that the voice of people of every class in Japan shall be fully reflected (Paragraph 2, the Supplementary Resolution of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives).A total of thirteen members were appointed of which six members had previous law practice experience or were law scholars and seven members were of academic standing in various fields.Thus, the JRC duly started to make deliberations with "the people's viewpoint".

2. The Process of Deliberation

The JRC held its first meeting on July 27th, this year.In a greeting speech, Prime Minister Obuchi said, "Today, Japan stands at a big turning point in an extremely severe environment both domestically and internationally," and with such recognition, he emphasized, "we must realize a more accessible and user-friendly judicial system. The judicial system we make must solve legal disputes properly and promptly to realize the people's rights, and maintain law and order in compliance with social circumstances. The judicial system we make must fully advocate fundamental human rights of the people."
Since then, the JRC has held deliberations based on the gist of the said Law. We heard opinions from government officials, people of academic standing and three legal professionals regarding the ideal ways of Japanese society in the 21st century, and the present conditions and issues of the Japanese judicial system. We conducted fact-finding inspection visits to the courts of justice, public prosecutors' office, bar association and law firm although the area was limited to Tokyo at the present stage. We studied proposals on judicial reform presented by various fields and materials on foreign judicial systems as reference.Thus, we, the JRC, arranged the specific points to be examined and deliberated in full scale and have reached a tentative agreement about them.

II.Historical Backgroundand the Significance of This Judicial Reform

1.Modern and Contemporary Japan

"We have to recover the dispersed national power; we have to reform poor administrative and judicial systems; we have to exclude the remaining practices of arbitrary decision making and restrictions; we have to return to tolerant and simple politics; we have to be engaged in protecting human rights; and as a result we can equalize the Cabinet Order with and the law. The moment has come and we shall have the opportunity to establish an equal foundation with the European and American great powers."("Prime Minister Sanjo's Questions to Lord Iwakura, Minister of Foreign Affairs" from the Recordings of Lord Iwakura)
In the late 19th century, Japan started to build a modern nation after it experienced a process of conclusion of unfair treaties with the European and American great powers, the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate Regime and the birth of the Meiji Regime.Since the beginning of those days, it was well recognized that the establishment of a government structure as a modern nation, the coordination of modern codes of law and judicial systems were indispensable for Japan in order to amend unfair treaties and to become a sovereignty nation holding equal rights in the international community. What followed was instability with tumultuous decades characterized with samurai descendants rioting, the Freedom and Popular Rights Movement and the controversy on the codes of law, the modernization of Meiji Regime came to fruition with the enactment of the former Constitution ofJapan and the compilation of various codes of law. Set with a style of a modern constitutional nation, Japan was ready to join the international society that was going through tumultuous times as well.
Half a century later, Japanese people who went through tragic war experiences held a high respect for popular sovereignty and fundamental human rights and enacted the Constitution of Japan which concluded with the rule of law or the superiority of law.Japan tried drastic reforms in the government structure and the judicial system and started all over in confusion and poverty.Under the new government structure and judicial system, Japanese people enjoyed economic prosperity as a glorious result of the post-war reconstruction. Another half a century later, however, we went into a new century carrying with us enormous financial deficits and economic difficulties or a sense of some kind of social blockade.
Now, it is one hundred years since the compilation of the Civil Code and fifty years since the enactment of the Constitution of Japan.Why is it now that the fundamental judicial reform to redefine the administration of justice is instituted as one of the major supports to reconstruct "Our Country and Its Shape" after the administrative reform?It is because we feel keenly that it is difficult for us to have an extensive view of the 21st century society without facing head on at the fundamental issue which we have carried with us for one hundred and thirty years since the beginning of the modern age; that is, what must we do to make the law of a nation flesh and blood of "Our Country and Its Shape" ?

2. Transfiguration of Japanese Society and the Role of Administration of Justice

Post-war Japan worked for reconstruction and economic prosperity with a remarkable result.The strong driving force, which enabled such achievement, was the strong feeling of the people's identification with groups which brought about the sense of mission/solidarity that existed at the bottom layer of the country. However, this society/economy, developed in such manner, brought about diversified interests and lifestyles. The social/economic systems, which used to be the power engine, have faced many problems. Major emerging issues include, how can we create original ideas or a new value as the expression of individuality?Or how shall we establish a new foundation in which people of various values can live together and cooperate with one another?If institutions and organizations which have been enlarged and stiffened lost the sense of essential purpose and acted in self conservation, the sense of ethics which have sustained them would be lost and they will eventually end up as unclear and irresponsible systems.In such event, it is feared that the vitality of our country will be lost.
Faced with a sense of crisis, plans of economic structure reform such as political reform, administrative reform, promotion of decentralization and deregulation have been made and are being implemented in order to recover creativity and vitality in this country.These reforms hold in common the recognition that the basis required to sustain the development of this nation in the 21st century is that every person shall grow out of the sense of being a governed object and shall participate in making a free and fair society in mutual cooperation as an autonomous governing subject with social responsibility in hand. This judicial reform is one last pivot to achieve such goal.
For a person to actively form/maintain social connections as an autonomous being, the cooperation of administration of justice (the legal profession) is indispensable which can offer legal service to suit the needs of concrete conditions of every individual instead of an easy reliance on standardized administrative regulations. Like medical doctors who are indispensable for people's health-care service, administration of justice (the legal profession) should play the role of the so-called "doctors for the people's social life."
We are in the process of abolishing unclear advance control of administration through economic structural reform and administrative reform to shift to a post-watch/remedy society in order to establish a freer society. In such society, it is a natural prerequisite to establish a system in which all kinds of disputes among the people are solved properly and promptly under fair and clear legal rules so that people in weak positions shall not suffer unfair disadvantages. We are trying to improve the quality of governing capability of the political sector through political/administrative reforms in order to substantiate popular sovereignty, in which it is assumed that keeping a watch of activities of the political sector is required in order to avoid unfair infringement of the people's fundamental human rights through excessive activities. It is the administration of justice that is expected to play a crucial role in such context.
This time of undergoing immense reform, the concept of the rule of law that all the people are equal under the law, and the substantial significance of administration of justice that all the people are equal and that a fair third party shall make a decision based upon a fair and clear legal rule are never emphasized too much. What shall we do to enable the administration of justice which relies neither on the sword nor on wealth but on the power of reason and words to effectively and properly accomplish the rule of law and to realize the people's rights and freedom?It is time for us to think it over again.

3.Internationalization and the Role of Administration of Justice

Due to the end of the Cold War and a dramatic progress of science and technology, the world has become more closely connected through networks and a global market has emerged based on free economy. The development of international traffic networks has facilitated exchange of people across borders and has supported trade expansion. The global development of computer networks has created a huge Internet community, which has drastically changed international trade/finance and is affecting the society/culture in every country.
Today when business activities are conducted across borders and massive financial capital move around the world in a matter of seconds via the Internet, it has become extremely difficult for a nation to sustain and regulate the economy only with her own government measures. On the other hand, a possibility has increased in that politics/economy of one nation immensely affects other nations. We are faced with issues such as how to protect safety and rights of individuals and businesses deployed around the world, how to construct a fair and energetic global market and how to participate in it with effective trade strategies, and moreover, how to cope with universal issues such as human rights, environment and international crime.
As long as we intend to achieve prosperity as a trade/science technology-oriented nation with the keynote of international cooperation, we must actively cope with such issues by participating in the formation/development of fair international rules. International rules are not a given but a creation made through the distinct assertion of one's own position by each country and rational coordination of respective interests. It is no longer the times when we suffered from unfair treaties or when we wished for reentry into the international society in the post-war confusion. Today, Japan is expected to make active contributions in the international community. We also believe that it is in the best interest of our country to assert and secure our fair objectives. Under such international circumstances, it is needless to say that the administration of justice (the legal profession) is much required to contribute to the realization of the people's rights and to participate in various ways to form/manage international rules.
When "hedges" among national sovereignties are trimmed low and global "winds" blow violently, a government (administrative office) can only do limited work.The society itself must have a resilient structure, abundant ideas, information dispatching ability and action power to communicate with the international community.Such social power, after all, attributes to respective individuals' ways of life that make up the society. We need to think over our tendency of excessive dependence on human relationships or easy dependence on government; and we need to work with more awareness to find ideal rules for autonomous individuals to live together. We think that much hope lies in administration of justice in order for us to tackle with such issues.

III.The Key of This Judicial Reform

1.The Present Condition of Administration of Justice and the Direction of Reform

On the other hand, when we look at the present condition of the Japanese judicial system, which has evolved under its own historical/cultural background and has played a specific role, we hear the following criticisms that are pointed out at our judicial malfunction: "The administration of justice is not open and it is distant from the people," "Both lawyers and the court of justice give us awkward feelings. They lack warmth," "The system of administration of justice is hard to understand and difficult for the people to utilize it," "When the society/economy rapidly changes, administration of justice cannot fully meet the expectation of the people with regard to speed and expertise," "It has failed to exercise the check-function against administration," etc. Plainly speaking, the Japanese administration of justice (the legal profession) is not accepted as a familiar or reliable existence because of their unknown character to people. The JCR should take these criticisms seriously in considering the pivotal role of administration of justice in the 21st century society.
It has been known since early on that the Japanese judicial system has many problems which started under the Constitution of Japan. In 1962, the Special Judicial System Examinations established in the Cabinet "to secure proper management of the judicial system," by "conducting examination and deliberation of urgently needed fundamental as well as comprehensive measures" regarding "Hosoichigen(a system to appoint judges from those qualified to practice law and who have been engaged in legal profession except judges as a rule)" and "the appointment and wage systems of judges and public prosecutors."In 1964, the Committee explained that "Hosoichigen" is "a desirable system for Japan", but prerequisite conditions are not yet coordinated so that "at the present stage, we must improve the present system, while keeping in mind the merit of "Hosoichigen" and cultivation of its basis", and made important proposals on specific measures.
Since then, efforts have been made to realize the proposals. Especially noteworthy was the movement for institutional reforms, which took place since the end of the 1980s.Based on the efforts and results made, it is the mission of the JRC to create an overall picture of the reform and a specific process to realize it as an answer to the criticisms and expectation of the people for administration of justice as described above.
What do people expect in the administration of justice? Plainly speaking, they are: the more accessible and user-friendly administration of justice and proper/prompt as well as effective judicial remedy in response to various needs through an open process; and execution of accurate arrest/punishment of crime through due criminal procedures responding to actual circumstances so that people can live safely. We believe that the key to this judicial reform is a drastic expansion/reinforcement of institutional and human bases for the administration of justice responding to the expectation of the people based on the concept of the rule of law in the present environment as described in II.
Based upon such viewpoint, the JRC established the issues to be deliberated at the council, shown in the attached paper as "Issue Items", within the period of two years set for deliberation. The simplified points/gist are as follows.

2.Reinforcement of Institutional Basis for the Administration of Justice

(1)Realization of a More Accessible and User-friendly Administration of Justice
There are many institutional plans we must contrive in order to make a more accessible and user-friendly administration of justice, but above all, we must expand the access to lawyers who make up the overwhelming majority of the legal profession and connect the people with the administration of justice.Lawyers play an important role as the closest legal profession to the people. For example, when a person primarily consults with a lawyer about legal problems, the lawyer will show the person a guideline to solve them and represent the trial procedures.But, from the users' point of view, people cannot readily consult or utilize lawyers under the present circumstances. Lawyers fail to fully respond to various legal needs in respective spheres of the social economy, either. This is one of the factors inhibiting public access to administration of justice. As the background circumstances, we find a shortage of lawyer population, uneven regional distribution of lawyers, hard to estimate lawyer fees, undeveloped working conditions of lawyers and their expertise, and lack of information due to the regulation on their advertisement.We must study the ideal role of lawyers to be played including specific reform measures for the points at issue. The relationship of lawyers with the quasi-legal professions must be studied in this context as well.
The Constitution of Japan stipulates that "No person shall be denied the right of access to justice" (Article 32).In order to guarantee substantially this right, we must coordinate the legal aid system. At present, we have assessed the step under consideration by the government about the coordination of civil legal aid management system as a critical first step and have recently published the chairman statement to the effect that the early realization of such step has been hoped for (November 24). Further comprehensive/systematic study is required with the viewpoint that the legal aid system is a crucial measure to realize a more accessible and user-friendly judicial system.
Disputes, which occur in the society, vary in size and kind. Preparation of a system to process various disputes according to the characteristics of cases and circumstances of the parties concerned has significance in making a user-friendly administration of justice.We must study the alternative dispute resolution (hereinafter referred to as "ADR") with such viewpoint as well.
We believe in the general conception that the administration of justice is distant from the people and difficult for them to understand owes much to the lack of information on the activities of lawyers and the court of justice.As for the administrative information, the Administrative Information Disclosure Law was enacted in the last ordinary Diet session. We must promote to disclose and provide information regarding the administration of justice and study a more accessible and user-friendly judicial system including the ADR.

(2)The Ideal Way of Civil Justice Responding to Public Expectation
As for Civil trials, the revised Code of Civil Procedure was enacted and an easy access to the court of justice was planned out such as the special procedure for small sum litigation. Various plans were made to reinforce/expedite proceedings as well. Actually, the length of proceedings, for example, have been shortened as a whole, but we still observe cases taking a long proceeding period among cases in which either many number of parties are concerned or expertise is required.The guarantee of the rights of the people shall be insubstantial unless access to the court of justice is made easy, unless trials are conducted properly/promptly and unless court decisions are correctly executed. Therefore, we must take a step further than reviewing the ideal way of litigation/execution procedures. We must study reinforcement of human/material resources for court systems such as increase of the number of judges and lawyers and reinforcement of their business conditions.
When the society becomes more complicated/specialized and social/economic activities becomes more international, the number of litigation cases requiring professional knowledge on intellectual property rights, medical malpractice or labour problems are anticipated to increase further. We must study methods to utilize experts on such issues other than legal professionals in order to properly cope with such cases.
The court of justice plays a very important role to carry one of the three powers of the sovereign structure, and through the exercise of judicial power, it maintains the governing structure of check and balance, and realizes the guarantee of rights/freedom of the people.Various criticisms and proposals have been made to the execution of administrative litigation procedures and the execution of the authority to review the constitutionality of the law. We must study measures to reinforce the judicial-check function against administration/legislation in the 21st century society, in which administration of justice shall increase its clout.

(3) The Ideal Way of Criminal Justice Responding to Public Expectation
The essential role of criminal justice is to maintain the social order and to secure the safety of the people, by accurately identifying crimes and arresting criminals, by finding out the truth of the cases, and by properly and promptly realizing the power of punishment, bearing in mind maintenance of public welfare and guarantee of individual fundamental human rights. As Japanese society/economy is drastically changing nowadays, the tendency of crime has increasingly become more complicated, atrocious, organized, international. However criminal justice system cannot bring its ability into full play because the past investigation/trial procedures or methods no longer work to fully tackle with them. Therefore, we must study the future methods of investigation/trial procedures corresponding to the new era and the international trend of human right guarantee so that criminal justice may properly play its essential role as above said.
Most criminal trials are managed promptly, but among the complicated cases of grave public concern, there are some cases of which first hearings take a considerably long period of time.Since this is one of the factors causing the people's loss of trust in criminal justice as a whole, we must study measures to realize proper and prompt trials.
On the other hand, it is pivotal to properly protect the rights of suspects/defendants from the point of securing fairness of criminal justice, and it is particularly important to effectively secure the right to counsel. However, the present law goes no further than admitting an accused who cannot select a defence counsel due to insufficient means, etc., to assign an official defence counsel after the person is prosecuted and becomes a defendant. As for a suspect, efforts have been made to fill the vacuum by the duty-solicitor scheme of bar associations and the voluntary aid project of the Legal Aid Association, but such measures have their own limits. (In relation to this, the condition is similar with the counsel attendant of juvenile cases.) The coordination of the criminal defence system shall be important also from such a point of view as realization of proper/prompt criminal trials as described above. Therefore, we must study the coordination of public defence system and conditions of suspects/defendants in broad spectrum including juvenile cases.

(4)Public Participation in Administration of Justice
As suggested in II, in the 21st century, the people of Japan must grow out of excessive dependency on the national government and the mindset of the governed objects and must bring about public awareness in themselves and build up more active attitudes toward public affairs. It is also anticipated that independence and participation of residents in local affairs shall further increase its importance following decentralization of power. In such conditions where involvement of the people as the sovereign is going to expand in many ways, we must also study the ideal way of participation of the people in the judicial field as the sovereign.
At present in Japan, although we have some judicial participation systems regarding mediations in courts, summary court proceedings and public prosecutions, participation in trial procedures which is the core of administration of justice is rather limited. We must review the present system in order to make the administration of justice more open and familiar to the public and to adopt plural values and professional knowledge for the people in the administration of justice.We must also argue about the propriety of introduction of jury trials/lay-judge system which are adopted in Europe and the United States of America, by paying attention to their historical/cultural backgrounds and institutional/practical conditions.

3.Reinforcement of Human Basis of Administration of Justice

(1)ThePopulation of Legal Professions and the Legal Education and Training System
It is people who manage a system. No matter how idealistic an institution or function may be planned, it is obvious that it ends up as malfunction if the human basis which actually carries it is not well coordinated. We need a large stock of human resources (legal professionals) equipped with both quality and quantity to entrust management of the institution in order for the reinforced institutional infrastructure described in 2. to come to fruition with successful results.
It has been pointed out since early on that the population of Japanese legal professions is too small. In the opinion proposal paper of the above mentioned 1964 Special Judicial System Examination Committee, they demanded "gradual increase of the population of legal professions in order to properly and smoothly manage the administration of justice and to reinforce and improve the people's legal life because the number of the legal professions is considerably small as a whole, while paying heed not to deteriorate their quality standard." This was the year when the number of successful finalists of the National Bar Examination exceeded five hundred for the first time since the end of the World War II, but the number stayed nearly unchanged, remaining around five hundred until 1990. Since 1991, the number was gradually increased and finally reached one thousand this year. However, legal demands are anticipated to further diversify and become more complicated so that we must study measures to realize the proper increase of the population of legal professions in order to cope with it.(For reference, the population of legal professions in the respective countries is: the United States about 940,000; Britain about 83,000; Germany about 110,000; France about 36,000 and Japan about 21,000).
The problem is how to educate and train legal professions with the character and capability (including legal ethics) fit to support administration of justice in the 21st century.This issue must be studied comprehensively/ systematically on the role of colleges (including graduate schools) in legal education, the National Bar Examination system, legal education and training system, and the education after being qualified as legal professions. As they say, "legal education shall establish the basis of the judicial system of a nation," colleges (graduate schools) are responsible for educating human resources equipped with the broad view of modern society as well as culture in classics, awareness and the character fit for the profession of "doctors for the people's social life". Thus, we must conduct a drastic study of the ideal way of legal education including establishment of professional law schools.
In a free and fair society structured by autonomous individuals, law must be something every person can utilize without difficulty in all levels as a so-called common property of all people. In order to realize it, we must study reinforcement of comprehensive human bases of not only the legal professions but also the quasi-legal professions as carriers of law.

As described above, the proposal of the Special Judicial System Examination Committee positioned "Hosoichigen" as "a desirable system in our country" and proposed that "at the present stage, we must improve the present system and pay consideration to cultivation of the basis and the merit of Hosoichigen." The existence of a large stock of lawyers sharing the concept of the rule of law and their wide range of activities in various fields of a society based on a spirit of mutual reliance and unity is the basis to sustain the administration of justice. If so, the issue of "Hosoichigen" is not limited to the appointment of judges but is deeply related to the system of administration of justice system overall including the population of the legal professions, the judicial education and training system, and the practice of lawyers.
The court of justice is positioned as the core for the administration of justice, and the appointment of judges who play the most essential role in administration of justice regulates the characteristics of administration of justice of a nation, along with lawyers who make up an overwhelming majority of the legal professions and are the foundation of the judicial system. Based on the gist of proposals made by the Special Judicial System Examinations Committee and efforts made since then, we must study broadly with the "people's viewpoint" what are the character/capability required of judges in a vital society; how shall we secure required human resources; and how shall we guarantee the independence of judges, etc.

(3)Personnel Reinforcement of the Court of Justice/Public Prosecutors' Office
In order to make a more accessible and user-friendly administration of justice, it is indispensable to reinforce the personnel system of the court of justice/public prosecutors' office which carries the systematic judicial management including increase of the number of supporting staff.

4. Other points

In addition to the increase of legal disputes in the international scale due to globalization of social/economic activities, it is also a demand from the international community to make the Japanese society more rule-oriented, transparent and open. Therefore, we must discuss the judicial reform with a global viewpoint. As we previously suggested, Japan must not limit itself to passive acceptance of international rules and harmonization of judicial systems but must actively participate in making/developing international rules. We must also study measures such as the coordination of international arbitration scheme to smoothly solve international disputes .
Furthermore, it is pointed out that the budget of Japanese administration of justice is too small compared to other major countries. We must also study measures for securing the budget required to coordinate human/material bases of the judicial system, which shall be made as a result of the reforms described above.
Mainly the three parties constituting administration of justice (judges, public prosecutors, and lawyers) have conducted the previous Japanese judicial reforms, but they could not flexibly cope with changes of the society/economy, etc. We must establish a standing organization comprised of law professionals and people of academic standing in other fields than law in order to promptly and properly carry out the judicial reform and the improvement of judicial management responding to changes of the society/economy and public needs.

IV. For the Future Deliberation

TheJRC have arranged items to be deliberated as shown in "Issue Items" in the attached paper (however, this is the arrangement made up to the present so that in case a new issue arises during deliberation, we shall not by any means exclude it from taking up for consideration.)
We have tentatively divided the "Issue Items" into an institutional basis and a human basis, but as it is made clear by the description made above, problems of institution and problems of human resources mutually and organically relate to one another so that it is not necessarily important to identify to which basis each issue belongs to. Thus, such division itself is nothing but a tentative yardstick; it does neither mean to examine and deliberate each issue separately nor to set the sequence of examinations and deliberations.
The JRC shall conduct examinations and deliberations, with careful consideration of the mutual relationship of each issue and with the ideal image of the law, until it concludes its final opinion by July 2001, which is the time limit set for by the Act. An interim report shall be published at some point in the Year 2000 to ask opinions from the general public. Upon conducting specific examination and deliberation, we shall conduct local public hearings and hear opinions of the people of every level on judicial reform. We shall also study judicial systems of foreign countries for reference by paying attention to those historical/cultural backgrounds and actual functions in order to make multilateral analysis of problems of the present Japanese judicial system. After going through such process, we shall make an ideal image of the administration of justice in the 21st century suitable for "Our Country and Its Shape" image, and present an effective reform plan, based on the merits created by the past administration of justice and bearing in mind constantly the historical significance of this judicial reform. Furthermore, in the final opinion, we shall thoroughly discuss a specific schedule for the realization of the reform and the sure measure for its implementation.
We deeply think about the significance of the rule of law and the independence of judicial power. We shall attend deliberation with indomitable spirit for the realization of a judicial system which duly and properly responds to the demand of the coming era, and hereupon publish the arranged points in issue.

Issue Items

1.Institutional Basis

(1)Realization of a more accessible and user-friendly administration of justice Lawyers

(2)Civil justice responding to public expectation

(3)Criminal justice responding to public expectation

(4)Public participation in administration of justice

2.Human Basis

(1)Judiciary population and the judicial training system

(2)Reinforcement of personnel system of the court of justice/prosecutors office

3. Others