Basic Policies for International Legal Technical Assistance by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations
March 18, 2009
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
About the Basic Policies
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) adopted the Basic Policies for International Legal Technical Assistance and the Interpretation Policies for the Basic Policies for International Legal Technical Assistance at the meeting of the JFBA Board of Governors on March 18, 2009. The Basic Policies were submitted to concerned organizations.
Main Points of the Basic Policies
JFBA's international legal technical assistance should be carried out in accordance with the basic philosophies listed below.
1.Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Permanent Pacifism
JFBA's activities have been carried out based on the protection of the Constitution of Japan. The preface of the Constitution proclaims permanent pacifism, the right to live in peace, and our commitment to international cooperation by stating: "We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace and the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth."
In addition, Item 1 of Article 1 of the Attorney Act stipulates that an attorney is entrusted with the mission of protecting fundamental human rights and achieving social justice. In response to this article, Article 2 of the Articles of Association of the JFBA (hereinafter referred to as "JFBA Articles") provides that the JFBA shall be the source of protection for fundamental human rights and the realization of social justice. In view of this mission, the JFBA is working with its members (Article 3 of the JFBA Articles).
The JFBA also decided and declared that it would actively get involved in the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, which reaffirms the solemn commitment of all States to fulfill their obligations to promote universal respect for, and observance and protection of, all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all in accordance with international human rights norms such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The JFBA should regard its international legal technical assistance as a part of the JFBA's commitment decided and declared as mentioned above.
The JFBA, the largest human rights NGO in Japan, should provide its international legal technical assistance by keeping its responsibility for international cooperation in line with the respect for permanent pacifism and fundamental human rights as proclaimed by the Constitution, the basic mission stipulated in Article 1 of the Attorney Act, and its commitment to observe and protect international human rights norms.
2. Rule of Law
The JFBA is making every effort to realize the rule of law which lies at the heart of the Constitution and maintains this standpoint in providing international legal technical assistance.
The JFBA stated in its Declaration on Judicial Reform Implementation that attorneys and bar associations have the responsibility to citizens to spread the rule of law across the country and realize justice which meets the public's expectation. This responsibility is not limited for our domestic activities but should be pursued in international activities as well. The realization of the rule of law should be one of our basic policies in providing international legal technical assistance.