The Global Program under the Department of International Business Law, College of Law and PoliticsDepartments and Programs
Crossing Borders through a Legal Education
Since all of the specialized courses in the program are provided in English, students can take all of the courses required for the degree in English only. (Students may also take courses offered in Japanese if they wish to.) We are proud of the wide range and diversity of the law courses offered in English in the program, which makes the program the one and only English language-based law degree program in Japan.
Our pioneering English program is recognized with a generous endowment from the Suenobu Foundation, thanks to which we have established the Suenobu International Business Law course.
Message from the Head of the Global Program
When it comes to law courses offered in English, the Department of International Business Law had actually already been offering such courses. However, the situation could sometimes be slightly awkward or artificial, when the professor and all of the students were Japanese, but the classroom language was English. More fundamentally, having only Japanese students (or students from any single country, for that matter) in classes was not ideal to equip them with the legal knowledge, objective thinking skills, alongwith international perspectives, they need for an international business context. Therefore, the basic idea of the Global Program is to offer an enough number and variety of courses so that the classroom environment becomes closer to being a microcosm of an international business setting.
Structure of the College of Law and Politics
Overview of the Curriculum
- All of the specialized courses required for the degree are offered in English. (Students may also take courses provided in Japanese.)
- The curriculum focuses on classes with a small number of students to facilitate interactive learning and discussions between faculty members and students. Small-sized classes also facilitate Socratic dialogue in class.
- Many subjects are also taught in seminar courses where students gain a deeper understanding of the specialized subjects and develop the legal communication skills they need to express their knowledge and ideas through interacting with their peers and faculty members. With professional support by our faculty members, students also gain analytical and leadership skills.
- For international students, an extensive Japanese language program is provided according to their language levels and goals.
- For the first year and a half after enrollment, students take courses, such as Contracts, Property and Torts to gain the basic legal knowledge necessary to create the foundation for further legal studies.
Example topics to be covered: basic ideas as to the ways of preventing and resolving international business disputes through negotiations, basic rules for contracts (e.g., in the case where company X imported luxury brand products, whether X should be entitled to claim for damages against whom if the products are damaged in a shipping accident).
- From the second year, students start taking more specialized courses, such as Corporate Law and International Business Law, which require students to apply what they have learned in the previous year and to continue to build up their legal knowledge.
- Students also cultivate comparative perspectives through comparing Japanese law with laws of other countries and regions in the courses such as Introduction to Legal Studies, Law and Society in Japan (for first year students), and Anglo-American Law and Comparative Constitutional Law (for students of the second year and above). Taking these courses enables students not only to understand the Japanese law and legal system and the other countries’ counterparts, but also to develop an international perspective through comparing laws of different countries and regions.
Example topics to be covered: Differences between Japanese and American laws, and legal approaches taken by different countries to deal with specific problems that occur on the frontlines of international business (e.g., labor disputes, environmental issues and intellectual property disputes).
- In other courses such as Negotiation Basics and Legal Writing, students develop their practical communication skills and the ability to logically express their opinions, which will be useful in the international arena.
Study Abroad Programs
- The Oxford Summer Program is a four-credit program where students spend four weeks in August at the student dormitories of the University of Oxford and study subjects such as Western culture and English law.
- Rikkyo University has international exchange agreements with more than 200 universities around the world. Students can apply for short- and/or long-term student exchange programs at these partner universities. In addition to the partner universities, students of the College of Law and Politics (including those in the Global Program) can also apply to a student exchange program at the School of Law of Singapore Management University.
The Christ Church College, one of the colleges of the University of Oxford
The Great Hall at the Christ Church College
Message from faculty
Studying law in EnglishDaniel Machado (Specially Appointed Associate Professor)
The law is a language. Even if you study it in your native language, learning the law means learning a new language. Then, why not do it in English from the outset? Since my entire legal education was in Japanese, I know how difficult it can be to study law in a foreign language. However, I also know how interesting and insightful it can be. Like spoken languages, legal systems are rooted in the culture and history of their respective countries. By studying law in English, you compel yourself to learn more about the legal culture and history of English-speaking countries. By doing this in Japan, you gain a unique understanding of the law. The Japanese legal system belongs to a family of legal systems that are very different in some ways from the system prevalent in the English-speaking world—so different that your first challenge will be to relearn the meaning and usage of the word “law” itself.
- The Global Program equips students with a knowledge and understanding of the law in an international context. (i.e., legal notions and ways of thinking shared between Japanese law, laws of other countries and regions, and international law)
- Since the program places a focus on business-related laws and trains students' objective thinking skills and problem-solving skills, students will become ready to join Japanese and global firms in a broad range of industries after graduation.
- The program is also suitable for those who wish to work in think tanks and international public/private organizations (e.g., the UN institutions).
- International students also learn the Japanese language over the four years of their undergraduate studies in the Global Program. Depending on the Japanese language levels, international students may also take courses on law and other subjects in Japanese. The Japanese language skills become useful for international students to work at Japanese companies in Japan or across the globe.
- The program is also suitable for students who wish to pursue graduate studies in Japan or abroad in the areas of social sciences, such as law, public policy, sociology and politics.
Admissions to the Program
- Program Name: Global Program under the Department of International Business Law, the College of Law and Politics, Rikkyo University
- Enrollment: Maximum of 38 students (including 8 international students)
- Admission procedures: Entrance Exam for International Students (Admissions by Document Screening), and the Admissions for the PEACE Program (General Entrance Examination) * For information on entrance exams, please see the admission guidelines, which will be available from June 2022.
For information on the Entrance Exam for International Students (Admissions by Document Screening), please see the link. (Go to "Admissions for Undergraduate Programs Offered in English" and open "Entrance Exam for International Students.")
For information on Admissions for the PEACE Program (General Entrance Examination), please see the link.
This site provides guidance and information on the new program, including introductions to faculty and the curriculum.
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Introduction to the Global Program
Brandon Whittaker, Specially Appointed Professor at the International Business Law Department of the College of Law and Politics, Rikkyo University, introduces the Global Program.