Society and Identity
In Japan, the quasi-legal profession of judicial scriveners traditionally prepared documents for litigants to file with courts but did not have the right to represent them in courts. As part of the justice system reform, from April 2003, judicial scriveners who took an induction course, passed a certification examination and obtained the Justice Minister's certification are permitted to represent litigants in Summary Court civil lawsuits. Such work used to be monopolised by the full-fledged legal profession of attorneys. The reform aimed at enhancing the public’s accessibility to legal service. However, the change could result in competition between the two professions. This is aggravated by the substantial expansion of the attorneys’ population under the reform. To examine the justifiability and value of the expansion of judicial scriveners’ permitted scope of practice, this paper empirically investigates the post-reform situation of the two professions, Summary Court civil litigation, and legal representation in such lawsuits.