Legitimacy-Based Discrimination and the Development of the Judicial Power in Japan as Seen Through Two Supreme Court Cases
University of Pennsylvania East Asian Law Review
38 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2016
Date Written: 2014
This paper looks at two cases decided in 2013 by the Japanese Supreme Court: one invalidating provisions of the Civil Code granting lesser inheritance to children born out of wedlock, and another upholding a parent's refusal to accept their child's registration in the family registration system as "illegitimate." Although in the former case the court found the discriminatory provision to be unconstitutional, in the latter it rejected the constitutional challenge despite seeming to deal with very similar issues relating to birth status. It provides background on the Japaneae family law system including the significance of the koseki family registration system. Posits that the true significance of the inheritance case may be in its subtle but important expansion of the scope of the judicial power.
Keywords: Japan, Supreme Court, legitimacy, family law, judiciary
JEL Classification: K36
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation