Statement Concerning “Further Promotion of Systemic Reform in the Fostering of Legal Professionals”
Today, the Council for the Promotion of Systemic Reform in the Fostering of Legal Professionals issued a document entitled, “Further Promotion of Systemic Reform in the Fostering of Legal Professionals” (the “Document”). Having taken into account the discussions and debates which took place at the meetings of the Advisory Board for Systemic Reform in the Fostering of Legal Professionals (which were conducted 23 times since September 2013), as well as the opinions of various related institutions and organizations, the Document was compiled with the aims of: (a) bringing an end to the situation under which there has been a decrease in the number of applicants seeking to become legal professionals, due to reasons such as (i) the low pass rate of the bar examination, (ii) the financial and time burdens placed on applicants in the process of becoming legal professionals, and (iii) the difficulty in finding jobs after having completed their legal apprentice training; and also (b) developing legal professionals with a good quality and appropriate quantity.
Since 2012, the JFBA has been appealing the necessity to take measures such as: (i) reducing the number of successful bar examinees to 1,500 per year; (ii) promoting the abolition or merger of law schools and the drastic reduction of the total maximum number of law school students; (iii) increasing the pass rate for the bar examination by improving the quality of education; and (iv) reducing the financial burden imposed on applicants in the process of becoming legal professionals.
In the Document, even though there are still a number of issues remaining unresolved, a basic plan for systemic reform including the main issues of: (i) determining the appropriate number of successful candidates passing the bar examination; (ii) conducting reform relating to the law school system; and (iii) providing financial support to legal apprentices, was drafted with the aim of moving toward the development and enhancement of the system for fostering legal professionals.
Considering the systemic reform plan, the JFBA, as an organization having a pivotal role in the administration of justice, strives to contribute to the systemic reform in helping to foster legal professionals in cooperation with the related institutions and organizations, and is determined to fulfill such responsibility.
June 30, 2015
Japan Federation of Bar Associations