南山大学

 

Department of Law

In soccer, as in any other sport, there are rules and there are referees, whose task it is to interpret and apply those rules. No matter how clear the rules or laws of the game may be, it is not always an easy task for the referee to make the correct decision — if indeed there is a correct decision at a given time, for it is often the case that different referees adjudge differently given the same set of circumstances. The governing body of a sport may also make changes to its rules or advise a different line of interpretation in regard to a particular rule, perhaps to make the sport more competitive or to reflect changes in the nature of the sport. Similarly, there are rules that govern human society, with each political entity having its own set of rules that constitutes a system of law. The constant changes that accompany social and technological progress mean that legal precedents set in the past are no longer valid or relevant to the present, and the law has to respond to such changes for the sake of equity and justice. Although a thorough knowledge of the myriad of laws that a modern state possesses is perhaps the ultimate objective for a student of law, in the Department of Law we aim rather to cultivate first and foremost within our students a deep understanding of the underlying and unchanging principles of law and train them to think logically so that they can argue by power of reason. While the study of law as an academic pursuit focusing on archival research may at times seem somewhat abstract, we also give our students the opportunity to study case law drawing on actual cases that are occurring around us in contemporary society. This enables us to appreciate that the study of law is not a passive academic subject but revolves around the lives of real people.


Features of the Department

  • Throughout the four years of study in the Department, students are free to choose courses that match their interests: there are no compulsory courses allowing a high degree of specialization in one’s chosen field.
  • To enable students to delve deep into the fascinating world of legal studies at the earliest opportunity, the Department offers most of its specialized courses from the second year rather than the third year. Students complete a foundation year in constitutional law, civil law, and criminal law in their first year.
  • Students come into contact with law in practice, with courses referring to current cases in progress and through visits to the courts and to prisons.
  • Seminars are offered in each year of the curriculum and are limited in size, allowing for the cultivation of close relationships between students and instructors.
  • Great importance is placed upon foreign-language study, with guidance given in the acquisition of the necessary skills to read specialized foreign-language reference works.

Faculty of Law Chair of the Department of Law

Professor
Tsukasa Ito