Takesaki on Japanese Supreme Court

Hironobu Takesaki, ’71, LL.M., became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan last November, having served as President of the Tokyo High Court since February 2007.  

An expert in criminal law, Justice Takesaki returned to the United States to study the American jury system in the late ‘80s.  A new lay judge system that allows citizens to work closely with judges in trying criminal cases will be instituted later this year, a major reform he helped to develop.

Justice Takesaki has deep experience with Japan’s Supreme Court.  Beginning in 1982, he worked in a variety of positions for the Court’s General Secretariat, including Secretary-General in 2002.  According to Japan Today, Takesaki enjoys the confidence of the previous Chief Justice and was chosen to ensure the Supreme Court isn’t swayed over any potential changes in government leadership.

“As a judge of the court of last resort,” said Justice Takesaki, “I will strive to make a rational judgment while hearing opinions of the parties from a neutral and fair perspective and taking into consideration the course of history.”

After receiving his LL.M. at Columbia Law School, Justice Takesaki stayed on at Columbia Law to pursue additional coursework.  When he returned to Japan in 1972, he became Assistant Judge with Hiroshima District Court and a professor with the Legal Training and Research Institute, which is affiliated with the Supreme Court of Japan and manages research and training of judges and judicial training of legal apprentices.

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