New Legislative Agendas, Legal Professionals and Dispute Resolution in Australia and Japan: 2009-2010

This is the title of my third paper in a series of edited and updated selections of my postings to the ‘East Asia Forum’ blog (indicated with a double asterisk in the Table of Contents below) and this partly-overlapping ‘Japanese Law and the Asia-Pacific’ blog. They mainly cover developments from mid-2009 through to mid-2010, with a focus on law and policy in Australia and Japan in a wider regional and sometimes global context. The paper is freely downloadable here.
Half of the postings edited for the paper introduce some new policy and legislative agendas proclaimed by the then Prime Ministers of Australia (Kevin Rudd, in late July 2009) and Japan (Yukio Hatoyama, through the Democratic Party of Japan [DPJ] which he led to a remarkable general election victory in late August 2009). Both had resigned by mid-2010, indicating some of the difficulties involved in implementing ambitious reforms in both countries. All the more so, perhaps, if innovative measures are to be added to both countries’ Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in order to foster more sustainable socio-economic development in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
The remaining postings end by introducing Australia’s regime for international (and domestic) commercial arbitration enacted in mid-2010, centred on a United Nations Model Law – like Japan’s Arbitration Act of 2003. However it sets these enactments in broader context by focusing on legal professionals – lawyers, judges and specialists in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – as well as aspects of the legal education systems in both countries. Those systems will need to gel better as well for both Australia and Japan to achieve the ‘cultural reform’ needed to generate sustainable critical mass in commercial (and investor-state) arbitration activity.


The order of postings has been changed somewhat in the paper to create more of a ‘chain novel’ narrative effect. However, as with the previous two papers, readers may still prefer to move around the topics in a different order:
A. New Legislative Agendas
1. The New DPJ Government in Japan: Implications for Law Reform**
2. Japan’s New Quasi-Jury System and Video-Taping of Interrogations
3. ‘Pain on the Road to Recovery’ – So What, for Consumer (Credit) Law Reform for Australia (and Beyond)?**
4. Lessons for Australia – How (Japan and) other countries are dealing with current consumer issues
5. Unfair Consumer Contracts Law Reform in Australia (at last), Japan and Europe
6. Comparing Product Safety Re-Regulation in Australia: The Never-Ending Story
7. Asia-Pacific Product Safety Regulation and Other Regional Architecture for a Post-FTA Era**
B. Legal Professionals and Dispute Resolution
8. Australia and Japan: A New Economic [and Legal!] Partnership in Asia
9. Legal Education and the Profession in Australia, Japan, and Beyond
10. Japan’s Legal Profession (and ADR and Legal Education) at a Crossroads
11. Will Privately-Supplied ADR Keep Growing in Japan?**
12. Judicial Education and Training in Japan
13. Arb-Med and New International Commercial Mediation Rules in Japan
14. International Investment and Commercial Arbitration in Australia and Japan: Shared Challenges, Different Solutions?
15. International Commercial Arbitration Reform in Australia, Japan and Beyond

Author: Luke Nottage

Prof Luke Nottage (BCA, LLB, PhD VUW, LLM Kyoto) is founding co-director of the Australian Network for Japanese Law (ANJeL), Associate Director (Japan) of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS), and Professor of Comparative and Transnational Business Law at Sydney Law School. He specialises in international dispute resolution, foreign investment law, contract and consumer (product safety) law.

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