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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Political Science Practiceα

Toshihiro Yamaguchi
4th year student at the School of Political Science and Economics

Ohama seminar, grasping for a "form" for the new course. The author is at the front.

"Law in the School of Political Science and Economics?"-Many people may get this idea from the Administrative Law and Public Policy theme of Professor Keiichi Ohama's Political Science Practice α seminar. But, if you think on the lines that no policy has meaning unless it is passed as law, then the question becomes immediately clear. Even if you see that 90 percent of laws passed in the Diet are actually administrative laws, the scope of this seminar is wide.

In this class, third year students conduct case methods using precedent court decisions. Groups of 2-3 students are given a topic and investigate the assigned problem in their own way. A presentation of this is then given, with Professor Ohama providing guidance and comments. Various precedents are dealt with such as "town planning", "medical services", "education", and "environmental problems". While learning the basics of administrative law from concrete examples, we come in contact with much subject matter that can become themes for our graduation theses. Be it due to the wide scope of research content, a characteristic of Professor Ohama's seminar is that many students have been sent out into every industry. 48 students have passed level I of the national public service examination, and 20 graduates have even entered the legal profession. These standout performances come down to, of course, the efforts of our seniors, but can also be said to be proof of Professor Ohama's sincere guidance.

Aiming for high-leveled lectures, law school texts are used.

While being a seminar steeped in such tradition, another characteristic of this seminar is that it doesn't place too much emphasis on tradition. Because the seminar was temporarily suspended due to Professor Ohama's research overseas, we fourth years will become the first batch of graduates since the resumption of the seminar. From the way lessons are conducted to parties, we have been searching for a new form for the new course through trial and error. Professor Ohama's focus on student autonomy is also an important point.

This isn't simply a straightforward image called "law," and conversely, we can use administrative law as a new approach to confront various social issues. Even if this is a seminar, we shouldn't entrust ourselves to tradition, we should make the experience of the burden of creating a new history a valuable one. I would definitely recommend this course to all students with a lively sense of curiosity.