Washington International Law Journal


Mark A. Levin


Numerous works have shown how central judicial administrators in Japan may ideologically influence the nation’s lower court judges. This piece draws upon these reports to analyze and frame these circumstances as “instrumental judicial administration,” qualitatively distinguishing the various means used by administrators and reflecting on their degrees of impact on civil procedural justice. Then, moving from description to prescription, the work provides a thorough consideration of the underlying legal context, broadly drawing from constitutional text and history, statutory text, and case law, before launching a search for solutions in its conclusion. Although the immediate focus is on how instrumental judicial administration emerges in the Japanese civil justice system, the approach here is broadly applicable for studies of the roles of judges and functions of courts generally.

First Page