Lessons from Japan on the legitimacy of informal constitutional amendment


This is a listing of older East-West Center events (newer listed first).  See Events to get the list of current or upcoming events.

Noon Seminar Series

When: Aug 31 2018 - 12:00pm until Aug 31 2018 - 1:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, Room 3121/3125, East-West Center

The government of Japan purported to "reinterpret" the famous war-renouncing provision of the Constitution of Japan, Article 9, in the summer of 2014. It did so in a manner that deliberately circumvented the formal amendment procedure, and the "reinterpretation" itself was a radical departure from established understanding of the provision. Now the government is seeking to entrench the "reinterpretation" through a modest formal amendment. All of this provides lessons for unresolved theoretical debates in comparative constitutional law over the legitimacy of informal amendments.

Video of Craig Martin's presentation on 8/31/18 at East-West Center

Craig Martin is a Professor and Co-Director of the International and Comparative Law Center at Washburn University School of Law. His primary scholarly interest is the interrelated legal systems that govern different facets of armed conflict—namely, the jus ad bellum, international humanitarian law, and constitutional war powers—with the goal of developing a coherent and principled explanation for how these regimes interact and operate as a single overarching system. He has done considerable work on Japan's war renouncing constitution. He served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Naval Officer prior to undertaking his legal studies, including service at Canada’s Mission to the United Nations, and practiced law as a trial and appellate lawyer in Toronto, Canada, before returning to the academy. 

Primary Contact Info:
Name: East-West Center
Phone: 808-944-7111