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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Anglo-American Law Research II
~Conveying lively Anglo-American law to the world~

Yoshiaki Haraguchi
Assistant and PhD candidate, Faculty of Law

With seminar classmates. Professor Nakamura is third from the left. The writer is to the right of the professor.

Professor Tamio Nakamura's seminar is always brimming with intellectual research into Anglo-American law and fresh discoveries. In historical case law analysis, which makes the basis of the seminar, we look into the intricate facts of the case, the strongly conflicting claims of those involved, and the roots of law theory. In doing so, what appeared to be an old-fashioned and uninteresting decision, is reborn as a vivid chart showing law and society of bygone days.

Modern theory of law research is even more thrilling. We learned about latest Anglo-American administrative regulation theory, and wrote up a report on risk regulation of the global spread of BSE (mad cow disease.) Based on strong Anglo-American voluntary restraint theory, we evaluated so-men noodles "Ibonoito", as a form of voluntary restraint dating back to the Edo period, and conducted field work. By looking at law in this way from a modern society perspective, law in action manifests itself from law in books.

There are many times when this seminar takes place with a small number of 5 or 6 students. In the beginning, we are taught how to comprehend in detail Anglo-American judicial precedents and texts. Through sharp questions by the professor to graduate school students with basic knowledge, liberal and broad-minded debates develop. Because of the professor's cheerful manner, there is always laughter and humor weaved into the strict and serious debates. That atmosphere is also extremely Anglo-American.

A scene from seminar camp. The writer is at the front of the right side. Professor Nakamura is behind him.

The professor only took up his position at Waseda in 2010 after previously being at Tokyo University, but this year marks his 10th year in charge of the Graduate School of Law seminar as a part-time lecturer. The bulk of seminar graduates have gone on to become academic staff at universities all over the country or embarked on study in England and America. The friendship among seminar students which has been fostered in, not just lessons, but also lunches, parties and camps, is deep, and there are also more than a few opportunities to get together with our idolized professor.

The main aim behind the top-class professor transferring to our university as a researcher was "for the purpose of education." From that wonderful education, I sincerely hope that the number of undergraduate and graduate students who challenge the intellectual adventure of Anglo-Saxon law increase.