The Aim of Association

The Aim of Establishing Japan Law and Economics Association

Law plays an important role in all aspects of economic society, to solve disputes among individuals, between individuals and powerful entities like governments, to maintain public order, and to ensure lawful administration. To improve the formulation and functioning of law, analysis of the wide range of social and economic effects of law is essential. Considering the lack of these analytical approaches in conventional Japan, it is beneficial for academics and practitioners to deepen their theoretical and empirical analyses of the social and economic effects of law.

Conventional legal studies in Japan have mainly developed into hermeneutic studies of legislated statutes of subjective laws. Based on given conditions of legislated statutes by the National Diet and regulations by local governments, through comparison of benefits between parties and considering a tendency of court cases, arguments focus on which construction is most logically consistent with the complex legal system.

However, it is difficult to construct laws that are consistent with existing laws, unambiguous in meaning, and also considering multiple values simultaneously.  Moreover, legal studies have not provided an analytical framework enough to decide how the designing of a system by legislatures would affect the society.

 On the other hand, economic studies have developed analytical frameworks to analyze the efficiency of resource distribution and to decide a fair income distribution based on who receives how much benefit and who pays how much cost.  In Japan, since the economic analysis of practical aspects of law has not been profound, issues in the hermeneutic studies of law are not established research objectives in economics. Only in some cases economic research has been referred to, for legislation processes.

Conversely in the US, microeconomic approaches are employed to analyze the economic effect of law - across civil, criminal, and legal studies. Courses adopted by law schools often affect the actual court practice and legislatures.

 In Japan, research in Law and Economics is still limited to specific sub-fields and is a long way away from covering some of the most basic fields.  To research on topics like: how statutes and cases affect social wealth, who is the beneficiary, what are the benefits, who bears the cost, and so on, the approach of "Law and Economics" will provide intelligence shared by neither legal nor economic academics. The association will serve as a network for sharing knowledge and information, and to establish new interdisciplinary research activities.   "Law and Economics" will play an important role in improving actual legal construction and court practices more objectively than before. Furthermore, "Law and Economics" will provide a contingent and empirical method to estimate the effect of legislature.

 Thus, we established the Japan Law and Economic Association to encourage academic activities dealing with the theory and application of "Law and Economics", and to build a research network among academics and practitioners.