Law and Human Sciences
Grant‐in‐Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Research in a proposed research area)
Humanities and Social Sciences
A few years have passed since the Saiban-in Seido (a mixed tribunal of professional judges and lay judges) started. The practice has shed light on the system’s strengths and weaknesses, and the citizens’ participation in the criminal procedures increased the public awareness of a wide range of problems, such as necessity of legal education, visualization of investigative processes, support for lay judges, treatment of inmates, prevention of recidivism, etc. Furthermore, many intriguing topics are identified such as, but not limited to:
- Basis of the criminal system: Citizens’ perception of law; legal education; philosophical and psychological issues on Japanese law and the legal system, etc.
- Investigative processes: Prevention of false confession, procedures to ensure accurate identification, special measures for the vulnerable, etc.
- Issues in court: Lay judges’ understanding of case and criminal procedures, effective questioning, psychological processes of legal decision making, etc.
- After-trial issues: Development and evaluation of effective treatment for offenders, defendants’ and victims’ view of sentences, etc.
In order to research into these topics, not only in vitro studies but also field research with interdisciplinary collaboration with practitioners is necessary. The goal of this project is to promote such “working together” with lawyers, social scientists, legal professionals, and those in related areas as well as supporting emergent researchers in the area.
Social and Ecological Foundations of the Mind (SEFM)
“The Center for the Education and Study of Social and Ecological Foundations of the Mind “
SEFM is located within the Human Sciences Division at the Graduate School of Letters at Hokkaido University. SEFM was launched in December 2012, and takes on programs supported the Japanese Ministry of Education, such as: the 21st Century Center of Excellence (COE), the “Center for the Study of Cultural and Ecological Foundations of the Mind (2002-2006)” and the Global COE “Center for the Sociality of the Mind (2007-2011).
” The aim of the Center for the Education and the Study of Social and Ecological Foundation of the Mind (SEFM) is: 1) constructing an intensive research base which provides a rich environment for doctoral students to conduct cutting edge research, and 2) creating an environment that attracts students and researchers and producing those can play an active role in the world.