Second-best Justice: The Virtues Of Japanese Private Law

Hardcover | November 19, 2015

byJ. Mark Ramseyer

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It’s long been known that Japanese file fewer lawsuits per capita than Americans do. Yet explanations for the difference have tended to be partial and unconvincing, ranging from circular arguments about Japanese culture to suggestions that the slow-moving Japanese court system acts as a deterrent.

With Second-Best Justice, J. Mark Ramseyer offers a more compelling, better-grounded explanation: the low rate of lawsuits in Japan results not from distrust of a dysfunctional system but from trust in a system that works—that sorts and resolves disputes in such an overwhelmingly predictable pattern that opposing parties rarely find it worthwhile to push their dispute to trial. Using evidence from tort claims across many domains, Ramseyer reveals a court system designed not to find perfect justice, but to “make do”—to adopt strategies that are mostly right and that thereby resolve disputes quickly and economically.

An eye-opening study of comparative law, Second-Best Justice will force a wholesale rethinking of the differences among alternative legal systems and their broader consequences for social welfare. 

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From the Publisher

It’s long been known that Japanese file fewer lawsuits per capita than Americans do. Yet explanations for the difference have tended to be partial and unconvincing, ranging from circular arguments about Japanese culture to suggestions that the slow-moving Japanese court system acts as a deterrent. With Second-Best Justice, J. Mark Rams...

J. Mark Ramseyer is the Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Legal Studies at Harvard University Law School. 

other books by J. Mark Ramseyer

The Politics Of Oligarchy: Institutional Choice In Imperial Japan
The Politics Of Oligarchy: Institutional Choice In Impe...

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Japan's Political Marketplace
Japan's Political Marketplace

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:November 19, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022628199X

ISBN - 13:9780226281995

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1. Doing Well by Making Do
Chapter 2. A Tort System That Works: Traffic Accidents
Chapter 3. A System with Few Claims: Products Liability
Chapter 4. Few Claims, but for a Different Reason: Medical Malpractice (I)
Chapter 5. Medical Malpractice (II)
Chapter 6. Wrong but Predictably Wrong: Labor, Landlord-Tenant, and Consumer Finance
Chapter 7. A Second-Best Court
Chapter 8. Conclusion

Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

Replete with facts, figures, and statistical analyses, Second-Best Justice is a richly detailed examination of Japan’s ‘second-best’ system for handling personal injury cases—a system that, Ramseyer argues, puts the United States to shame.”