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March 2018

Prof Valerie Hans of Cornell Law School recently convened a fascinating online Forum comparing issues involving public participation in legal decision-making, especially but not limited to (quasi-)jury systems that have been (re)introduced into Asia-Pacific countries like Japan and Korea.

With kind permission from Prof Annelise Riles, well-known for her studies in legal anthropology and comparative legal theory with respect to Japan and Asia, we reproduced below Valerie's opening questions for the (usually closed) Forum convened by the Meridien180 initiative. That is followed by my brief Japan-focused posting in response to some of those questions as well as some intervening postings and topics raised by other Meridien180 members from around the Asia-Pacific region.

As explained on the website for Meridien180, it is:

a multilingual forum for transformative leadership. Founded in 2012, Meridian 180's strength comes from its membership—800+ thought leaders from academia, business, and the public sector from 29 different countries. With a center of gravity in the Pacific Rim, Meridian 180 builds the intellectual, social, and political infrastructure required to address the crises of today and tomorrow.

Meridian 180 is a partnership of Cornell University's Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture at Cornell Law School, Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea, the Institute for Social Science at the University of Tokyo and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The director of Meridian 180 is Annelise Riles, the Jack G. Clarke '52 Professor of Far East Legal Studies at Cornell Law School.

Hopefully a summary of the Forum discussions will made publically available. I certainly hope to draw on its many comparative insights when helping to set readings and marking essays by USydney students who are always intrigued by Japan's quasi-jury system in the criminal justice class in the ANJeL-supported "Kyoto Seminar on Japanese Law". That class was last taught in February 2018 by Profs Makoto Ibusuki and Dimitri Vanoverbeke.

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Japanese Law in Asia-Pacific Socio-Economic Context
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