Strasbourg, 6 February 2003

CCJE (2003) 33
English only

Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)

Questionnaire on judges’ training: reply submitted by the delegation of Japan

Questionnaire on Judges, Training

a) Initial training for prospective judges

1. Are prospective judges given any initial training ? If so, how long does this last?

There is no training just for becoming a judge. However, persons who want to become judges, prosecutors, or lawyers must complete a unified legal training course after passing the bar examination. The training lasts for 18 months.
(Reference)
Article 67 , Paragraph 1, The Court Organization Law
A legal apprentice completes their courses by passing an examination at the end of at least 18 months of training.

2. Is the right to or requirement to undergo training stipulated in any law or regulation? If so, please specify.

It is necessary for persons who want to become judges to complete the legal training course.
(Reference)
Article 43 , The Court Organization Law
Assistant judges shall be appointed from among those who have finished study as legal apprentices.

3. Is training run and financed by the state or by other means? Is it free of charge for prospective judges and are the latter paid?

The legal training is managed by the state. The training is free of charge.

4. Is there a judges' training institution? If so, is it a permanent public body?

The Legal Training and Research Institute is the organization that conducts legal training stated above. The Legal Training and Research Institute is a permanent body as an affiliate of the Supreme Court.
(Reference)
Article 14, The Court Organization Law
A Legal Training and Research Institute shall be established in the Supreme Court in order to manage affairs relating to the research and training of judges and other court officials and to the education of legal apprentices.

5. If there is such an institution, please describe briefly how it is organized, how it operates and who provides the training.

The Legal Training and Research Institute consists of the First Department (in charge of continuous education of judges), the Second Department (in charge of legal training for legal apprentices), and the Secretariat.
The curriculum content of legal training in the Legal Training and Research Institute is decided by the President of the Legal Training and Research Institute after discussions by the Council of Professors, which comprises professors of the Legal Training and Research Institute.
The curriculum of legal training in the Legal Training and Research Institute is implemented by professors of the Second Department of the Legal Training and Research Institute.
(Reference)
Article 55, Paragraph 1, The Court Organization Law
In the Supreme Court there shall be professors of the Legal Training and Research Institute.

Article 55, Paragraph 2, The Court Organization Law
Professors of the Legal Training and Research Institute shall, under the direction of their superiors, guide the research, training and study in the Legal Training and Research Institute.

Article 3, Paragraph 1, Legal Training and Research Institute Regulations
In order to administer the general affairs of the Legal Training and Research Institute, there shall be the Secretariat in the Institute.

Article 3, Paragraph 1, Legal Training and Research Institute Rules
The organization of training described in Item 1 of the preceding article shall be divided into three departments as follows:
First Department: Training of judges
Second Department: Training of legal apprentices
Third Department: Training of court clerks

Article 4, paragraph 2, Legal Training and Research Institute Regulations
[Omitted] The Chief of the Legal Training and Research Institute shall stipulate necessary matters relating to training. However, in the stipulation of training plans for the Second Department and other important matters, there must be prior discussions in the Council of Professors.

6. What subjects does judges' initial training cover?

The main curriculum of legal training in the Legal Training and Research Institute is consisted of the five basic subjects such as civil justice, criminal justice, prosecution, civil defense, and criminal defense.

7. Is there an end-of-training examination to assess ability to perform the duties of judge?

There is no examination to assess ability to perform the duties of judge. At the end of the legal training, however, there is a final examination to confirm that the necessary skills for legal professions have been acquired.
(Reference)
Article 67 , Paragraph 1, The Court Organization Law
A law apprentice completes their courses by passing an examination at the end of at least 18 months of training

b) In-service training

1. Is there an in-service judges' training scheme? If so, how is it organized and what subjects are covered?

The in-service training for judges is categorized into two types: group training, for which judges gather at the Legal Training and Research Institute, and out of court training, for which judges are dispatched to private companies and other organizations.
The group training consists of two types: level-oriented training and sector-oriented training. For level-oriented training, there are (a) training for newly appointed judges; (b) training for judges in their second year; (c) training for judges in their third year; (d) training for judges in their sixth year; (e) training for judges in their eleventh year; (f) group study for presiding judges; and (g) group study for chiefs of branches of district / family courts. For sector-oriented training, as group study group for specific practical topics which they are dealing with, there are, (a) group study on practices of civil affairs; (b) group study on practices of criminal affairs; (c) group study on practices of domestic affairs; (d) group study on practices of juvenile affairs; (e) group study on practices of administrative affairs; and (f) group study on practices of high court judges, etc.. Besides these, there are group studies on related sciences to broaden the knowledge of judges, group studies for judges who are in charge of providing guidance to newly appointed judges, and group studies for judges appointed after serving as lawyers.
In the out of court training, judges are dispatched to private companies and other organizations for a certain period to get experience of the work there in order to broaden their vision and increase their wisdom.

2. Is in-service training optional or compulsory ?

There are voluntary training and compulsory training. As for the group training, items (a) to (e) in the level-oriented training are compulsory; items (f) and (g) are not compulsory, but in practice almost all judges who fall in those categories take these courses. The sector-oriented training and out of court training are both voluntary.

3. Who runs such training?

The professors of the First Department of the Legal Training and Research Institute
(Reference)
Article 14, The Court Organization Law
A Legal Training and Research Institute shall be established in the Supreme Court in order to manage affairs relating to the research and training of judges and other court officials and to the education of legal apprentices.

Article 3, Paragraph 1, Legal Training and Research Institute Rules
The organization of training described in Item 1 of the previous article shall be as follows:
First Department: Training of judges
Second Department: Training of legal apprentices
Third Department: Training of court clerks

4. What approaches are adopted to impress upon judges the need to improve their professional skills?

The need to improve their professional skills is emphasized in the curriculum such as joint study and so on, by introducing outstanding practical cases, studying practical problems submitted by participants themselves, etc.

5. Is there a specific training scheme for judges at the beginning of their careers? If so, please describe it briefly.

In the First Department of the Legal Training and Research Institute, there is nine-day training for newly appointed judges immediately after appointment aiming at acquisition of basic knowledge as judges, etc.



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