You are welcome to attend this lecture on Thursday 22 September 2022 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm at the Cube. Alternatively, you can register here to attend the lecture online.  

Abstract: Where a Japanese court finds that no statutory provision or case precedent covers a particular issue, the court relies on jori (条理) (variously translated as “general principles of law”, “principles of reason”, or “rule of reason”) to fill the gap. Jori is thus a source of modern Japanese law.  But what are the origins of jori and what precisely are its underlying principles?  The lecture will firstly consider theories on how jori came to be part of Japanese law.  For instance, there is the belief that the concept of jori was introduced by the French legal scholar Gustave Émile Boissonade (1825-1910) when drafting a Civil Code for Japan based on the French model during the Meiji government (1868-1912). There is a competing view that jori became part of Japanese law through the influence of the Swiss jurist Louis Adolphe Bridel (1852-1913) who taught at Tokyo Imperial University in the early 1900s. The lecture will suggest that in actuality jori (or something like it) has been a feature of Japanese dispute resolution prior even to the Meiji Restoration, at least during the Edo period (1603-1867), if not before. Secondly, the lecture will contrast the evolution of jori with the development of equitable principles in England and the history of natural law in continental Europe.  Finally, the lecture will attempt to identify key principles of jori as applied by Japanese courts today.

About the speaker. Naoshi Takasugi is a Vice-President and Professor of Law at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. He was formerly the Dean of the Law Faculty at Doshisha University.  He holds an LLM from Osaka University and has written widely on aspects of private international law, international commercial dispute resolution, and international business law. 

About the lecture series.  The Doshisha Oxford Lecture Series is intended to foster a dialogue between the Law Faculties of Doshisha and Oxford Universities on aspects of the common law and civil law generally and legal pluralism (namely, the interplay among Western and Asian norms within the legal systems of a country or region) in particular. The series envisages the delivery annually of a lecture at Oxford by a scholar from Doshisha University and a lecture at Doshisha University in Kyoto by a scholar from Oxford University. It is hoped that such ongoing exchange will lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the varieties of legal culture and experience in the world today. This is the first lecture of the series. The second lecture in the series is planned to take place at Doshisha University in or about April 2023 when the sakura are in blossom.