Home > What is the JLSC? > History of the JLSC

History of the JLSC

Background behind the establishment of the JLSC

Structural reform of society and the economy
The shift from an ex ante regulation society to an ex post facto check society

The necessity of reforming the judicial system
Establishing a proper, prompt, reliable, easy to use and accessible judicial system

[ Issues ]

  • Transitioning from an ex ante regulation society to an ex post facto check society
  • Inadequate avenues of receiving consultation that guide the way to proper resolution of disputes
  • Insufficient coordination between the consulting aspect and the actual providing of legal services
  • There are still many regions with no attorneya.
  • Rapid increase in cases where legal aid is needed but are not provided due to economic reasons
  • Difficulty in responding adequately to intensive deliberations of criminal trials, including the introduction of court-appointed counsel system for suspects, and the citizen judge system

Recommendations of the Justice System Reform Council (June 12, 2001)
Plan for Promotion of Justice System Reform (approved by the Cabinet on March 19, 2002)

  • Expansion of civil legal aid
  • Enhancing judicial access points, and the provision of comprehensive legal information through the promotion of networks
  • Development of a public defense system for suspects and defendants (create a fair and neutral entity and funnel public funds into it).

Summary of comment by Prime Minister Koizumi, July 2002 - July 2003 (Advisory Board on the Office for Promotion of Justice System Reform)

  • The judiciary must be within close reach of the people.
  • It is necessary to develop a legal network by establishing points of contact where they can readily receive advice and providing comprehensive legal services where citizens who have legal disputes are able to receive judicial remedy anywhere in Japan.
  • Please swiftly begin the process of investigating how cooperation or coordination of related services with the actual operations of a center to be established as the core of a ?judicial network? should take place.

Comprehensive Legal Support Act was enacted (promulgated on June 2, 2004)

Japan Legal Support Center was established (April 10, 2006)

Chronology of the JLSC

Year

Month/day

Events

1999 July The Justice System Reform Council was established within the Cabinet.
2001 June The Justice System Reform Council submitted the Recommendation to the Cabinet.
  December The Office for the Promotion of the Justice System Reform was established within the Cabinet.
2002 March The Cabinet approval of the Plan for Promotion of Justice System Reform.
2004 June The Comprehensive Legal Support Act is promulgated.
2005 September The logo and the nickname"Houterasu" was announced.
2006 Apr.10 Japan Legal Support Center was launched.
    Ms.Kanehira became the first president.
  Apr.28 The Minister of Justice approved the first mid-term plan of the JLSC.
  May.25 The Minister of Justice approved the Operational Method  Statement, the Rules for the Handling the Legal Affairs and the Contract Concerning Affairs Handled by Court-Appointed Defense Counsels.
  Oct.2 The JLSC began its operations.
    The Minister of Justice approved the JLSC’s succession of rights and obligations from the Japan Legal Aid Association.
2007 Mar.19 Pursuant to the Article 30, Paragraph 2 of the Comprehensive Legal Support Act, the Minister of Justice approved the changes of the Operational Method Statement in order to allow the JLSC to be entrusted some services by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) and the Assistance Fund For Remaining Japanese Orphans in China.
  Oct.1 The entrusted services by JFBA began.
  Oct.30 The Minister of Justice approved the Contract Concerning the Affairs Handled by the Official Attendant who is an Attorney for Juveniles.
  Nov.1 The operations on the official attendant who is an attorney for juveniles began.
2008 Apr.10 Mr. Kazuhiro Terai became the president.
He established the Advisory Board.
  Nov.13 The Minister of Justice approved the Contract Concerning the Affairs Handled by the Court-appointed Attorneys for Victims.
  Dec.1 The operations on the court-appointed attorneys for victims began.
2009 May.21 Saibanin Trial (quasi jury trial in criminal cases) began to be operated.
    The scope of the court-appointed defense counsel for the detained suspects was expanded.
2010 Feb.25 The accumulative number of calls to the Call Center reached 1,000,000.
  Mar.30 The Minister of Justice approved the Second Mid-term Plan.
  Dec.1 The Call Center in Sendai started receiving the calls.
2011 Mar.11 The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred.
  Apr.10 Mr. Go Kajitani became the president.
  Oct.2 In Miyagi Prefecture, Minamisanriku sub-branch office especially for the victims of the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear disaster opened (the following sub-branch in Tohoku area have the same aim).
  Nov.1 Toll-free phone consultation service (“Houterasu Disaster Dial”) for the disaster victims was launched.
2012 Apr.1 The Act Concerning Special Measures on Legal Aid by Japan Legal Support Center for the Victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake was enacted.
  Apr.2 The operation on the legal aid for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake started in the all offices.
2013 Jan.7 The accumulative number of calls to the Call Center reached 2,000,000.
2014 Apr.10 Mr. Makoto Miyazaki became the president.
  Jun.18 The scope of the official attendant who is an attorney for juveniles was expanded.
2015 Mar.31 The duration of the Act Concerning Special Measures on Legal Aid by Japan Legal Support Center for the Victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake was extended to March 31, 2018.
2016 Feb.18 The accumulative number of calls to the Call Center reached 3,000,000.
Apr.14 Kumamoto Earthquake occurred.
May.27 The Comprehensive Legal Support Act was revised in the Congress (promulgated on June 3)-four tasks were added as the operations of the JLSC.
Jul.1 Free legal consultations for the victims of Kumamoto earthquake started.
2017 January The accumulative number of Civil Legal Aid (representation aid and documentation aid) cases reached 1,000,000.

What is the JLSC?