Empowering judicial scriveners as litigators in Japan: is it justifiable and of value?

Kay-Wah Chan, Takayuki Ii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In Japan, the quasi-legal profession of judicial scriveners (shihō-shoshi) traditionally prepared documents for litigants to file with courts but did not have the right to represent them in courts. As part of the justice system reform, from April 2003, shihō-shoshi who took an induction course, passed a certification examination and obtained the Justice Minister’s certification are permitted to represent litigants in Summary Court civil lawsuits. Such work used to be monopolised by the full-fledged legal profession of bengoshi. The reform aimed at enhancing the public’s accessibility to legal service. However, has the change really achieved this objective? Has the objective been attained by another change under the reform: a substantial expansion of the bengoshi population? To examine the justifiability and value of the expansion of shihō-shoshi’s permitted scope of practice, this paper empirically investigates the post-reform situation of the two professions, Summary Court civil litigation, and legal representation in such lawsuits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-207
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of the Legal Profession
Issue number2
Early online date23 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2022


  • legal market
  • quasi-legal profession
  • lawyer
  • Japan


Dive into the research topics of 'Empowering judicial scriveners as litigators in Japan: is it justifiable and of value?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this