For over a century, the Faculty of Law, founded in 1899, and the Graduate School of Law have played the central role both in the teaching and research activities of law and political science in Japan. As for teaching, the Faculty/School has been committed to strengthening students’ abilities to further their knowledge, opinion, wisdom and logical thinking, as well as to nurturing their spirits of intellectual autonomy by inspiring their will of search and sense of initiatives which derive from their own critical views. In research, the Faculty/School has been devoted to searching for truth through free dialogues and discussions and has successfully made a considerable and unique contribution by engaging with the world and actively dealing with key issues of the society in any given period.
The Graduate School of Law and the Faculty of Law have faced a sea change during the last several years. In April 2004, Kyoto University was incorporated as a National University Corporation. At that time, the Law School Program was added as a new professional school to link legal education at university, the National Bar Examination and the following judicial training organically in the process of overall legal training. The Law School Program has about 160 students enrolled each year. The Legal and Political Studies Program at the Graduate School of Law is designed for those interested in academic career. Currently the Legal and Political Studies Program admits about 15 students for the Master of Laws (LL.M.) program and about 30 students in the Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) program each year. Bridging these two graduate programs and placing the Law School Program within the Graduate School of Law, the School provides students opportunities for both advanced research training and practical legal training. As more emphasis has been placed upon the graduate programs, the Faculty of Law program has been streamlined and now focuses on basic scholarship. Currently about 330 new students in law and political science are enrolled for the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) program each year.
The Master’s program of the International and Public Policy was reorganized and evolved into the Graduate School of Government in April 2006, cooperating with the Graduate School of Economics, to train high-level future professionals in public service who will get involved in designing, execution and assessment of public policy.
To respond to such dynamic organizational change and further strengthen our educational programs, a group of legal practitioners, such as judges, prosecutors, lawyers as well as government officials and corporate executives, has joined the faculty in addition to the research faculty. The educational staff at the Graduate School of Law consists of 60 professors and 15 associate professors, who also teach undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Law.