Comparative Studies in Constitutional Law

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LecturerMinori OKOCHI, Professor
DepartmentG30, 2021 Spring
Related departmentSchool of Law / Graduate School of Law
Recommended for:Third-year School of Law students, Graduate School of Law students (Master’s program)

Goals of the Course

The purpose of this course is to review the fundamentals of constitutional theory, and examine how the theoretical application of Japanese constitutional law to various constitution-related issues compares to that of students’ home countries, while reviewing constitutional theory and its various manifestations in Asian and other countries. Students will learn about the history and fundamental principles of modern constitutions, gain a fundamental understanding of the constitutions of Japan and modern constitutional countries in Western Europe, and review the constitutions of various countries, particularly in Asia. These subjects will be further explored in class discussions in which students will proactively debate various related issues.

Objectives of the Course

Through of this course, you will able to 1) acquire the basic knowledge of the history and grand theory of modern Constitution; 2) acquire the basic knowledge of Constitutional system in Japan and some developed countries; and 3) discuss on Constitutional law and issues in selected Asian countries.

Teaching Tips

The legal background of the students in this course is diverse, ranging from more than 10 countries in some years. Many of those countries are different from those usually covered in the "Comparative Constitutional Law" course. In order to learn the diversity of constitutional law more effectively and to acquire the perspective to relativize the constitutional law of their own countries, the students have opportunities to report and discuss their own legal backgrounds, especially their country's constitution, in this course.

Reference Book

  • Shigenori MATSUI, The Constitution of Japan , Hart publishing 2011.
  • Rosenfeld & Sajo (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law , Oxford University Press 2012.

Course Content

1:Introduction Confirm the course of the lecture. Collect basic information about the Constitution of each country.

2:Historical development of modern constitutions (2 lectures) The development of modern constitutionalism is outlined referring to the articles of the constitutions of each country.

3:Comparative study on historical development of various countries (1 presentation) Student make the presentation about his/her Constitution.

4:History of the Japanese Constitution (1 lecture) Learn about the characteristics of the two constitutions that have been enacted in Japan.

5:Institution of / for government in Japan (1 lecture) Learn about the characteristics of Japanese institutions of/for government.

6:System for protection of human rights in Japan (1 lecture) Learn about the characteristics of Japanese system for protection of human rights.

Lecture materials


Course Evaluation and Criteria

Your final grade will be calculated according to the following process: attendance and participation of discussion (50%), Mid-term report & Final report (40%), and other assignment (10%). A minimum grade of 60% to attain a C.

Last updated

December 27, 2021