Purpose – To find major determinants of access to legal services and consider an effective way of expanding access to lawyers.Methodology – (1) A survey of Japanese…
Purpose – To find major determinants of access to legal services and consider an effective way of expanding access to lawyers.Methodology – (1) A survey of Japanese individuals between 20 and 70 years of age, conducted in 2005; (2) A survey of visitors at legal advice centers of Bar Associations, conducted in 2007 and (3) A survey of visitors at law offices, also conducted in 2007.Finding – The use of a lawyer for legal services is not affected by income or a general knowledge of the law, but by the past experience of using a lawyer and personal connections with a legal professional. Both lawyers and people have anxieties about each other. Thus, a lawyer wants to accept a client who is introduced by someone that the lawyer knows personally. People who seek legal advice also worry about the cost and the unapproachabilility of lawyers. Direct or indirect personal connections help to reduce such anxieties. This traditional pattern of legal access is found among visitors at law offices. However, visitors at legal advice centers do not have such experience or connections. Legal advice centers, rather than to law offices, could expand access to lawyers more effectively, because the former is easier for people without personal connections to get access to legal advice.Research limitations – The response rate of the office survey is very small.Value of chapter – It contributes to a current debate on what affects the use of a lawyer and suggests a policy for expanding access to lawyers in Japan.
Myth is a story of archetypical personas who behave in ways and with motives that we recognize in ourselves. We use myth as a way of reminding ourselves of the relationship between motives, actions, and consequences. Myths can serve either as inspirational or cautionary tales, and sometimes as both. But “myth” can also mean a fabricated story intended to create a false impression, and to achieve storytellers’ ends when they have decided the truth will not suffice. We apply the myth of Cassandra to the millennium-long recorded history of giant tsunamis in Japan. After each of these catastrophes, survivors sought to warn future generations of their recurrences. But, each time, their progeny eventually lost the memory of these lessons, and lost their lives when the next monster wave overwhelmed them. Only when they kept the lessons as living knowledge in everyday life, could they manage to escape from monster tsunamis. In this chapter, we use the myth of Cassandra in conjunction with the myth of Prometheus, the bringer of fire to humankind, as a metaphor for Japan’s growing reliance on nuclear power. Government and utility companies built powerful but inherently dangerous cauldrons in the nation’s disaster-prone landscapes, assuring the public they could control the fire’s fury and defend it against nature’s. As images of atomic bomb victims were still vivid and widely shared in Japan, they had to overcome the public fear of radioactivity by fabricating a “myth of safety.” The nuclear disaster made the public distrust the government and utility companies, which lingers in the process of reconstruction from the disaster. Myths can either reveal hidden truths or mask hidden lies. The Japanese people must now learn to distinguish one from the other.
Around the world today, access to justice enjoys an energetic and passionate resurgence. It is an object both of scholarly inquiry and political contest, and both a social…
Around the world today, access to justice enjoys an energetic and passionate resurgence. It is an object both of scholarly inquiry and political contest, and both a social movement and a value commitment that motivates study and action. Though the recent resurgence makes much seem new, in fact access to justice has been a topic of policy advocacy and empirical research since the early 20th century (e.g., Smith, 1919). One legacy of early work is scholars’ and practitioners’ tendency to conceptualize access as a social problem that is faced by lower status groups, such as poor people. Another legacy is a penchant for reducing, in a whole variety of ways, questions of justice to matters of law. Given this orienting framework, classical access to justice research focuses heavily on empirically documenting how law falls short of its supposed promise. At the same time, classical research often relied on an expansion of law – more or more affordable lawyers, more or more welcoming courts and hearing tribunals, wider participation on juries, new and better rights – as the policy solution to injustice or inequality.
Two meanings of the word myth informed the origins of this volume and its constituent chapters: myth as an archetypical narrative that societies and cultures use to embody value-laden lessons about both the natural world and human nature (myths to live by); and myth as a nefarious fabrication that imperils those who believe it (myths to die by). Throughout this volume, we use the Greek myth of Cassandra – the heroine of Troy who unsuccessfully forewarned her community of avoidable future disaster – as an archetype for the often heroic efforts of those in our day who seek to forewarn us of altogether foreseeable future disasters associated with both natural forces and human contrivance. We also explore the deadly myths of delusion – those which weave an illusory cocoon of invincibility around those who increasingly inhabit increasingly disaster-prone landscapes. Each chapter in this volume tells stories about what happens when these two meanings of myth collide, and of how better heeding the message of present-day Cassandras might help us to dispel the myths of delusion.