Deference to the Administration in Judicial Review in Japan

  • Norikazu KawagishiEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law book series (GSCL, volume 39)


Discussion of judicial deference to the administration has focused primarily on the area of administrative discretion. Administrative discretionary actions were traditionally understood to be completely out of judicial reach and thus deemed exceptions to the fundamental principle of administration based on law. Even so, how to comprehend administrative discretion and manage to legally check its leeway has been explored in some depth. The conception of the distinction between legally controlled discretion and free discretion is one of the achievements of efforts to control comprehensive freedom of conduct on the part of administrative agencies. Now that the law has made administrative agencies liable for even their discretionary actions when they have been conducted ultra vires or abusively, the court may exercise the power to review discretionary actions with various degrees of intensity. The degree of intensity tends to depend on the nature of the action and the judiciary’s confidence in making its own judgment through the judicial process. Modes of judicial review may vary from lenient through intermediate to strict scrutiny. Recent developments have brought the frequent use of process-oriented review, which may be theoretically applicable to both restricted actions and discretionary actions. Proper reconciliation has had to be explored between actual demands of administrative discretionary judgments and the fundamental principle of the legal state in contemporary complicated settings.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and EconomicsTokyoJapan

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