Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Beyond Borders in the Classroom - The Possibility of Transnational Legal Education

Ritsumeikan Law Review, Vol. 25, pp. 183-208, 2008

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/63

25 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2008 Last revised: 2 Nov 2015

Luke R. Nottage

The University of Sydney Law School ; The University of Sydney - Australian Network for Japanese Law

Frank Bennett Jr.

Nagoya University - School of Law

Kittisak Prokati

Thammasat University - Faculty of Law

Kent Anderson

University of Western Australia

Leon Wolff

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Makoto Ibusuki

Seijo University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 16, 2008

Abstract

This is an edited transcript of a panel discussion, a popular format in Japanese law journals, from a conference held in Kyoto on transnational legal education. Two professors based in Japan join with three based in Australia, and one from Thailand, to compare and assess various experiments in recent years.

One model involves students physically crossing borders. Some take entire degrees abroad, as with the Masters programs at Nagoya and Kyushu Universities. Other students increasingly take some courses abroad. For instance, the "Canberra Seminar" in Australian law includes a week of "Legal English" before a week introducing key areas and principles of the common law most interesting for law students from Japan. A more ambitious example is the "Kyoto Seminar" in Japanese law, involving both Japanese and non-Japanese professors and students in teaching and learning. In another variant, students sometimes get partial credit for activities abroad, like some students from Australia who have participated very successfully in the Intercollegiate Negotiation and Arbitration Competition in Tokyo. Difficulties include the costs involved for students (and their home institutions). This has led to some law schools instead developing more courses taught in English, involving permanent or visiting professors abroad, as in Thailand.

Another more recent approach uses Information Technology to run courses in parallel in different jurisdictions. Students remain in their home institutions, but are linked up (through e-mail and/or internet video-conferencing) to hone their skills in cross-border legal communication. Examples include a contract negotiation and renegotiation simulation involving students in Canberra and Tokyo. The main challenge is logistics, including the extra time involved particularly for instructors.

Nonetheless, all six panelists agree that transnational legal education is no longer a possibility. It is already a reality, but one requiring further experiments and efforts to train the new generation of globally aware law graduates demanded by legal professions, the public and private sectors, and citizens world-wide.

Keywords: legal education, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Asian law, Information Technology (IT)

JEL Classification: I20, I21, K40, K33, O33

Suggested Citation

Nottage, Luke R. and Bennett, Frank and Prokati, Kittisak and Anderson, Kent and Wolff, Leon and Ibusuki, Makoto, Beyond Borders in the Classroom - The Possibility of Transnational Legal Education (July 16, 2008). Ritsumeikan Law Review, Vol. 25, pp. 183-208, 2008; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/63. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1161016

Luke R. Nottage (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

The University of Sydney - Australian Network for Japanese Law

Room 640, Building F10, Eastern Avenue
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Frank Bennett Jr.

Nagoya University - School of Law ( email )

Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku
Nagoya, 464-8601
Japan

Kittisak Prokati

Thammasat University - Faculty of Law ( email )

2 Prachan Road
Bangkok, Bangkok 10200
Thailand

Kent W. Y. Anderson

University of Western Australia ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, WA Western Australia 6009
AUSTRALIA

Leon Wolff

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia
+617 3138 5210 (Phone)

Makoto Ibusuki

Seijo University - Faculty of Law ( email )

6-1-20 Seijo
Setagaya, Tokyo 157-8511
Japan

Paper statistics

Downloads
207
Rank
124,165
Abstract Views
1,566