17 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2011
Date Written: January 1, 2008
Attorneys and bar associations play an indispensable role in the protection of fundamental human rights in Japan. The 1947 Private Attorneys Act (Bengoshi Ho) declares that “protection of human rights and realization of social justice” is the primary mission of attorneys. All of Japan’s bar associations have appointed human rights committees to coordinate efforts to realize these ideals. Their work is especially important due to the ongoing hostility of Japan’s government and Supreme Court to civil liberties and other individual rights.
Part One of this essay describes the institutional structures and activities of bar associations and human rights committees. Part Two presents a case study of a Japan Federation of Bar Associations (Nichibenren) human rights committee investigation of government surveillance of a long list of civil society organizations, including Amnesty International and women’s rights, consumer protection, and writers’ groups.
Keywords: Japan Human Rights, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, Bar Associations, Nichibenren
JEL Classification: K 39, K 40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation