Course Syllabus

Comparative Studies in Criminal Law

[Lecture Course Basic Information]

Lecturer: Kanako TAKAYAMA
Other Lecturers:
Course Type: Lecture
Semester: Intensive
Year: 1&2
Course Periods: To be arranged
Credits: 2
Whether mandatory or not: Not mandatory
Classroom: Online lecture. Please refrain from coming to the university.


Outline of Lecture Course The purpose of this course is to analyze the development of national criminal law under the influence of foreign and international law. There will be particular focus on comparisons between different judicial groupings such as common law countries, countries with the European continental legal tradition, Islamic countries, etc.
Course Objectives Participants are required to report on their country's experience and their views on desirable legislation in the future. Legal systems in general as well as specific topics in criminal law and criminal procedure will be discussed.
Textbooks Handouts and materials will be distributed at the beginning of the course.
Course Materials/Supplementaries Oda, Hiroshi (2009). Japanese Law, 3rd edition. University of Oxford Press. ISBN 978-0199232185 (Paperback 2011, ISBN 978-0199642069)
Pedriza, Luis (2017). Lectures on Japanese Law from a Comparative Perspective, Osaka University Press. ISBN 978-4872596052
Assessment Participation
Presentation on the participant’s national criminal legal system
Prerequisites Knowledge on the legal system of home country
Instructions for Out-of-Class Study Participants are required to prepare for brief introduction of themselves as well as their research interest before the course. During the course, reading of distributed texts and materials are expected. Preparation for presentation at the end of the course is also necessary. 
Responding to Student Questions Questions can be posed per e-mails to
Other Notes


Lecture Theme Lecture Course Description Learning outside the class Related page
1 Introduction  Purpose of the course. Introduction of various legal education and career systems. preparation for self introduction including own research topic and interests in this course
2 History of Japanese criminal justice system Brief explanation and comparison with world legal systems and cultures. reading of textbooks
3 Basic structure of Japanese criminal justice system Basic structure of Japanese legal system for criminal matter. reading of distributed learning materials
4 Court system and court reports Introduction of lay-judge system (saiban-in); juvenile courts. study of Japanese public organs' websites
5 Purposes and principles of criminal law Theories on punishment; Penalties; Legality principle (nulla poena sine lege). reading of textbooks
6 Structure of the general part of criminal law Common elements of criminal offences (constituent elements of crime – Illegality and justification – Culpability and excuse); Extension of punishments (attempts-complicity). reading of textbooks
7 Topics in the general part of criminal law Technology and criminal law; Vagueness Doctrine; Democracy and criminal law; Substantive due process. preparation of discussion on comparison between Japan and home countries
8 Structure of the special part of criminal law Crimes against individuals (crimes against life and body – crimes against liberty and fame – crimes against property); Crimes against society; Crimes against the State. reading of textbooks
9 Topics in the special part of criminal Law Public morals and criminal law in Japan; Regulations relating to the family; protection of children; Freedom of speech. reading of textbooks
10 Business activities and crime Corruption; Criminal responsibility of legal persons; Protection of intellectual property; Cyber-crime; Anti-monopoly law. reading of distributed materials
11 Future of Japanese criminal law Recent reforms; International Criminal law and Japan. preparation of discussion on comparison between Japan and home countries
12 Future of Japanese criminal procedure Amendements of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Juvenile Law. reading of distributed materials
13 Criminal law in Central and East Asian countries Presentations. preparation for own presentation on comparison between Japan and home countries
14 Criminal law in Southeast Asian countries Presentations. preparation for own presentation on comparison between Japan and home countries
15 Closing discussion Summary of the course. taking notes of the obtained information

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