This third edition textbook by University of London Professor Hiroshi Oda continues to fill an important niche in the ever-growing English-language (and even Western-language) literature on Japanese law.
It provides clear, succinct, up-to-date and comprehensive coverage. The effort to cover all major areas of law does mean some trade-off with contemporaneity, but this is largely unavoidable especially now that Japanese law has been changing so quickly and extensively since the mid-1990s. A brief Introduction is followed by parts on:
• The Basis of the System”: chapters on modern legal history, sources of law, administration of justice (including arbitration and ADR), legal profession, and human rights protection – ie the constitution); then
• “The Civil Code – The Cornerstone of Private Law”: general rules, law of obligations and contracts, property law, (only then) tort law, family law and inheritance;
• “Business-related Laws”: corporate law, insolvency law, securities (and financial instruments) law, anti-monopoly law, IP and labour law; and
• “Other Laws”: civil procedure, criminal law and procedure, international relations (eg nationality law, foreign exchange and trade law, transnational disputes).
To read the rest of this Book Review, contact me or see (from mid-2010) the Australian Journal of Asian Law.