Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Running late

I set a new record for myself this morning. It took me one hour to get to the train station from my house - when it normally takes a bit over 5 minutes when there's no traffic. I have no idea what was going on but the traffic jam almost went all the way back to my driveway (okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but it was pretty bad). Needless to say I missed my train. And the next two trains after as well.

Being so late I've decided to skip my only lecture, meaning that the only thing I'm doing at uni is taking a tutorial (which isn't even mine; i'm filling in for somebody who's away) and then going for coffee.

Uni life is the best.

(Except for this essay I have to finish by Monday, which has gone completely to sh*t since I discovered the relevant legislative provisions have been amended as of Jan 2007. All my research is now kind of obsolete.)

EDIT: Went to the tute and then found out my friend was actually meant to be taking it. That means I got stuck in a traffic jam for one hour just to come into uni for coffee...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007







Sunday, February 11, 2007

Issues in Japanese Law

In May 2004 the Japanese Diet passed legislation for the introduction of a new quasi-jury system whereby judges will be assisted by a number of 'lay assessors' in determining not only the verdict of criminal cases, but also in the fact finding process and in sentencing. People will be selected at random to serve as lay assessors much like how jury duty works here in Australia - except that these people will be more like judges than members of the jury (who are only responsible for producing the verdict).

The reformed system will be implemented by May 2009. The five years between announcement and implementation is intended to provide time to adequately inform and educate the general populace about their role in the new system. In fact, one section of the legislation actually requires the Japanese government and Supreme Court to implement measures to explain the various aspects of the system to the public.

Which brings me to the reason for this post. An article I was reading for class (K. Anderson and L. Ambler, 'The Slow Birth of Japan's Quasi-Jury System') brought this particular advertisement to my attention:

(Featuring Hasegawa Kyoko, it says: By my judgment, by my perceptions, by my words, I will participate)

I couldn't help but find amusing the following comment by the authors of the article:

"It remains completely unclear why Hasekawa [sic], in particular, was chosen for the role, having no specific ties or stated interest in the introduction of the new lay assessor system."

I can think of at least one good reason and I'm sure most of you can too, but I suspect that the authors were being at least slightly sarcastic there. Anyway, what was more amusing (and confirmed my suspicions) was the footnote that accompanied the quote. It was as follows:

"Somewhat frivolously but also seriously to a degree, we conducted an informal survey of colleagues who could not read Japanese regarding what they thought the Hasekawa [sic] advertisement was selling. None of the answers were even closely related; they included: constipation medicine, feminine hygiene products, high technology and most frequently hair products."

Yes, apparently these legal academics have a good sense of humour.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The end of the holidays

Satomi and Riyo are gone. Takako left this morning. Nanako leaves on Sunday. Summer school starts on Monday. And graduate application season is just beginning. Yep the holidays are definitely running out. All good things have to come to an end they say - but I still think another month would be nice :)

Highlight of the last week or so would probably have to be our day trip down the Great Ocean Road. Although we didn't make it all the way to the twelve apostles (I have no idea how many are left these days), the weather was beautiful and the views were pretty awesome. And we even managed to randomly pick a yummy fish and chips place for lunch. Enjoy the pics.

Life on Mars. Possibly. Then again, it could just be regular seaweed that I found at the beach.

Harvard, Riyo, Satomi and Me

"I believe I can fly"

And of course, my post wouldn't be complete with my obligatory shot of something nice I ate recently.

Curry Laksa @ Chilli Padi, Melbourne Central