Basic Seminar - Law and Conflict Resolution - Review of civil cases

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LecturerTomohiro YOSHIMASA, Associate Professor
DepartmentInstitute of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 2015 Spring
Recommended for:1st year Letters, Education, Economics, Law students (2週1回全15回)

Key Features

In modern society, law is the primary means of dispute resolution. This is why classes in law schools devote most of their effort to interpretation of legislation in each country. However, that does not mean that law is the only means of dispute resolution. Other means, such as dispute resolution by military forces, have played an important role in human history. In this seminar, by comparing "law" with other means of dispute resolution, we will try to understand the significance of "law" in human society.

To achieve this goal, participants of this seminar will play "negotiation-games" based on hypothetical disputes between two parties. The "games" will be played under the assumption that there are no laws to provide for the resolution of the disputes. By comparing the resolutions reached through negotiation of participants and the resolutions reached by Japanese law, we will consider the characteristics of dispute resolution by means of "law".

In this seminar, we will also read seminal articles on characteristics of dispute resolutions in Japanese society. Based on our analysis of the characteristics of "law", participants are expected to examine arguments of these articles critically.

Class Aim

Seminar's Theme: "Law" and resolution of conflict - Thinking through civil cases. In Japan, many people imagine criminal trial when they think about the application of "Law". However, the original function of "Law" is to solve many kinds of conflicts in the society. In this seminar, we will mainly use civil cases to analyze the reason why "Law" is required as a part of the mechanism to solve conflicts. Through this process, we will think about the roles and significance of "Law", which is one of the goals of this seminar. We will also aim to cultivate the ability to investigate and collect information, logical thinking, and presentation skills.


None: the materials used in class will be handed out.

Reference Materials

Reading assignments will contain the following literature.

  • Takeyoshi Kawashima, "Law-consciousness of Japanese People" Iwanami Shinsho 1967, Chapter 5: Law-consciousness of civil litigation, Takeyoshi Kawashima's Collected Works Vol.4, Iwanami Books 1982, under 320 page.
  • J. Mark Ramseyer, "Law and Economics, -- Economic Analysis by Japanese Law" KobunDo 1990, Chapter 2: Rational Choice of Reconciliation and Litigation.


Students will participate in a debate on specific examples of conflict cases. In order to take this course, students must have enough motivation and ability to prepare for debate every week. Furthermore, students are expected to actively participate in debate.

Participants are expected to participate in the "negotiation-game" over hypothetical cases. The "negotiation-games" will be held in Japanese.


  1. Guidance
  2. Group assignments and library orientation
  3. Negotiation-game, Case1
  4. Negotiation-game, Case2
  5. Negotiation-game, Case3
  6. Negotiation-game, Case4
  7. Midterm Review 1
  8. Resolution by trail Case 1
  9. Resolution by trail Case 2
  10. Resolution by trail Case 3
  11. Resolution by trail Case 4
  12. Midterm Review 2
  13. Readings 1
  14. Readings 2
  15. Final Review

Last updated

February 24, 2017