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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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The Ritual of Rights in Japan

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Eric A. FeldmanUniversity of Pennsylvania Law School

ISBN13: 9780521770408
ISBN: 0521770408
Published: March 2000
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £94.99
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780521779647

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The Ritual of Rights in Japan challenges the conventional wisdom that the assertion of rights is fundamentally incompatible with Japanese legal, political and social norms. It discusses the creation of a Japanese translation of the word 'rights', Kenri; examines the historical record for words and concepts similar to 'rights'; and highlights the move towards recognising patients' rights in the 1960s and 1970s. Two policy studies are central to the book. One concentrates on Japan's 1989 AIDS Prevention Act, and the other examines the protracted controversy over whether brain death should become a legal definition of death. Rejecting conventional accounts that recourse to rights is less important to resolving disputes than other cultural forms,The Ritual of Rights in Japan uses these contemporary cases to argue that the invocation of rights is a critical aspect of how conflicts are articulated and resolved.

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Other Jurisdictions , Japan
1. Reconsidering rights in Japanese law and society; 2. Rights in Japanese history; i. The roots of 'rights'; ii. Rights before Kenri: early antecedents; iii. Rights, protest and rebellion in Tokugawa Japan; iv. The movement for freedom and popular rights; v. State power and the control of rights; 3. Patients, rights and protest in contemporary Japan; i. “New rights” movements and traditional social protest; ii. Studying the “new rights”; iii. Patients' rights as 'new rights': conceptualisation, litigation, legislation; iv. Law, rights and policy in contemporary Japan: two narratives; 4. AIDS policy and the politics of rights; i. AIDS, public health and individual rights; ii. An epidemiological view; iii. Haemophiliacs and gay men: rights, risks and repression; iv. Proposal, debate and enactment of the AIDS prevention law; v. AIDS, activism and accommodation; 5. Asserting rights, legislating death; i. Rights, brain death and organ transplantation; ii. Death, culture and body parts; iii. Scientific, legal, medical and political attempts to define death; iv. Power politics and body politics: the ad-hoc committee for the study of brain death and organ transplantation; vi. A tentative truce in the fight over death; 6. i. Rights and the legal process; ii. AIDS: Crisis, compensation and the courts; iii. Brain death and organ transplantation: accusation and discretion; 7. A sociolegal perspective on rights in Japan; i. Rights, modernization, and the 'uniqueness' of the Japanese legal system; ii. Rights and the metaphor of legal transplants; iii. Legal culture, legal institutions and Japanese law; iv. Conclusion.