OSAKA BAR ASSOCIATION

INDEX

Introduction

The Osaka Bar Association began as a cooperative formed in 1880,and became today's Osaka Bar Association with the enforcement of the current Practicing Attorney Law in September 1949.
As of March 2006, the Osaka Bar Association has 2981 members.

The Osaka Bar Association is a body which was established pursuant to the Practicing Attorney Law, for the purpose of conducting affairs relating to attorney guidance and supervision in order to maintain the dignity of attorneys and improve legal practice. The Osaka Bar Association is one of the largest of the 52 local bar associations which comprise the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
Unlike other business groups, membership in the Association is compulsory for any person wishing to practice law in Osaka.It is also recognized by law as a completely self-governing group that is not supervised by any national or local governmental agency.

Organization of the Association

The annual general meeting of the Osaka Bar Association (the Association) is held in May of each year, at which time the regulations, yearly budget and fiscal results for the previous year are submitted for resolution.

The directors of the Association, which are chosen by election each year, are comprised of the President and 7 Vice Presidents. The rules are such that the President is automatically appointed as a Vice President of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and he or she thus plays an important role in the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. With the support of the Vice Presidents, the President represents, manages and operates the Association.

The Association has a House of Delegates composed of 60 members. The House of Delegates adopts Osaka Bar Association rules and deliberates on matters relating to the management of the Association. The members are directly selected from among the member attorneys.The finances of the Association are audited by two auditors directly appointed from among the member attorneys.

Mission of Attorneys

The mission of Japanese attorneys ("Bengoshi") is to protect fundamental human rights and realize social justice.

We have always strived to protect human rights and in the future we will be aiming for even stronger, more comprehensive activities for the protection of human rights. We strive to act as friendly, reliable legal specialists for all citizens.

In order to meet the diverse legal needs of citizens in respect of, for example, specialized areas of the law, we aim to actively master a broad range of specialized legal knowledge and skills.

We are conscious of the fact that, as legal specialists, we have a duty to act in the public interest, and we intend to take an active, leading role in public affairs in areas where citizens require legal assistance.

In order to protect human rights, we aim to take the initiative in adopting an international outlook and interacting with legal professionals throughout the world.

Membership

There are three different types of members of the Association: Practicing Attorneys foreign special members ("Gaikokuho-jimu Bengoshi"), and corporate members (legal profession corporations).

  1. Attorneys
    As of March 2006, the number of practicing attorneys of the Association is 2981 (of which 373 are women). Of these, 99 are new members who finished their apprenticeship at the Legal Training and Research Institute of the Supreme Court and registered in October 2005.
    The attorneys of the Association account for about 14% of all attorneys in Japan, and the Association is the one of the largest bar associations in the country.
  2. Foreign Special Members
    (Gaikokuho-jimu Bengoshi)
    As of March 1, 2006, eight foreign attorneys are registered as foreign special members of the Association.
  3. Legal Profession Corporations
    Since 2002, the government has recognized corporations set up by attorneys in order to practice law.
    As of March 1, 2006, 39 legal profession corporations are registered as members of the Association.

History

Osaka has long prospered as one of Japan's key centers of commerce and industry. Although Tokyo is Japan's political center, Osaka has historically been part of a distinctly Japanese cultural region.

Unlike Tokyo, which has been a center of government schools and bureaucracy, Osaka has been a center of pop culture. The Osaka Bar Association was influenced by this anti-authoritarian heritage, and was born as an opposing legal fraternity that embodied the spirit of democratic opposition.

In numerous political affairs, the Osaka Bar Association has continued to fulfill its legal mission from the standpoint of protection of civil rights, and has made its mark in the history of the legal profession in Japan.

The Osaka Bar Association has been a leader, and a team-player working with other bar associations, in establishing a modern attorney system whose core is attorney self-governance, achievement of the common goal of protecting human rights and ensuring legal justice, even at times when Japanese society faces upheaval, retreat of the judiciary and repression of human rights.

The activities of the Osaka Bar Association are wide ranging. We started a duty attorney system on March 1, 1992 to achieve more comprehensive pre-indictment defense (an area where there was no public aid system). To provide better legal services to citizens, we established a General Law Counseling Center, where we provide services such as legal counseling, victim's aid and referral to attorneys. We have also established a center (nicknamed "Himawari") where we provide law-related support to the elderly and handicapped.

The Osaka Bar Association was and is actively involved in the judicial system reform which began in 1999. We have established the Osaka Headquarters for Promotion of Justice System Reform, and we continue to actively strive for the establishment of a better justice system, by (for example) issuing public statements to advocate judicial reform by and for the people.

Self-Governance

Under the Practicing Attorney Law, only local bar associations (like the Osaka Bar Association) and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations can qualify, supervise and discipline attorneys. Control by the government (i.e. by the legislature, courts and administration) has been eliminated. Attorney self-governance was adopted to ensure that attorneys act correctly, and fulfill their basic mission of protecting basic human rights and achieving social justice. This system is unique in the world.

The basic features of attorney self-governance are as follows:

  1. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations and local bar associations establish rules of organization and operation within the scope recognized by the Practicing Attorney Law.
  2. Qualification and registration of attorneys are undertaken by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and local bar associations, and it is mandatory for attorneys to join the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and a local bar association.
  3. Supervision and discipline of attorneys are conducted by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and local bar associations.

The Legal Profession in Japan

  1. Attorneys
    With the exception of foreign special members (who handle law relating to specific foreign countries, as described below), only attorneys can engage in the practice of law in Japan. In order to qualify as an attorney, a person must pass the National Bar Examination (administered by the government), and complete an 18-month apprenticeship at the Legal Training and Research Institute. There are no special prerequisites for taking the National Bar Examination in terms of nationality, sex, age or academic background, etc. To actually practice as an attorney after completing the apprenticeship, the person must be registered on the attorney roll kept by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.

    As one part of Japan's ongoing judicial reform, the National Bar Examination system has been reformed to boost the number of legal professionals, and we are now in a transitional period when reform is shifting to implementation. In April 2004, graduate level law departments (law schools) has begun to open. In principle, graduates of these schools are qualified to take the National Bar Examination, and the ultimate goal is to increase the number of persons who pass the National Bar Examination from the current figure of about 1,500(in 2005) to approximately 3,000.
  2. Legal Profession Corporations
    Starting in 2002, the government has began to recognize corporations set up by attorneys to practice law. At present, the members of legal profession corporations are limited to attorneys. Attorneys are not allowed to establish branch offices, but legal profession corporations may do so, provided that a member attorney belonging to the bar association, where the branch office is located, is permanently based at the branch office. If the liabilities of a legal profession corporation cannot be settled using the assets of that corporation, then in principle, the members of the legal profession corporation bear joint responsibility for discharge of the liabilities.
  3. Foreign Special Members
    (Gaikokuho-jimu Bengoshi)
    As noted earlier, a person who is not an attorney cannot as a rule practice law in Japan. Therefore, even a foreign attorney wishing to conduct legal practice in Japan which relates to the law of his or her own country, must be a foreign special member (Gaikokuho-jimu Bengoshi).
    1. To become a foreign special member
      (Gaikokuho-jimu Bengoshi)
      If a foreign attorney is qualified in Japan as a foreign special member by the Minister of Justice, and registered in the roll of foreign special members of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, then that person can practice law for a specific foreign country, as described below. To obtain this approval from the Minister of Justice, the applicant must satisfy the following requirements:
      1. The applicant must be qualified as an attorney of a foreign country,
      2. After qualifying as an attorney of a foreign country, the applicant wishing to qualify as a foreign special member must have 3 or more years of experience in the original qualifying country as an attorney of such country (this includes the experience of the practice of law of the original qualifying country based on qualifications as an attorney of the original qualifying country in a foreign country other than the original qualifying country).
      3. There must be no grounds in a foreign country that is equivalent to the grounds for ineligibility to practice as an attorney in Japan.
      4. Applicants must have the will to perform their work in good faith, plans for carrying out work in a proper and reliable manner, residency in Japan, sufficient financial means and the ability to compensate clients for damages. Additionally, the original qualifying country of an attorney applying for the above qualification must be a member of the WTO, or have a foreign attorney system which treats a person qualified to be a Japanese attorney in a way which is essentially the same as in Japan, or must have agreed with Japan (through a treaty etc.) to not apply this kind of reciprocal treatment.
    2. Scope of work of special foreign members
      As a rule, special foreign members may practice law relating to their original qualifying country.
      A foreign attorney may also practice law relating to a specific foreign country (called a "designated law") if the applicant is designated by the Minister of Justice in respect of the law of a specific foreign country other than the original qualifying country (i.e. the law of a country other than the original qualifying country for which the applicant has qualifications to be an attorney) and qualification for that law is recorded in the roll of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
      An attorney can practice law relating to a third country other than Japanese law, the law of the original qualifying country or a designated law, if the person receives advice in writing from an attorney in the subject third country who has engaged in the practice of law relating to that third country based on qualifications to be such an attorney (however, this excludes those who have been employed in Japan and provided their labor based on knowledge of the law in said third country), or from a foreign special member whose original qualifying country or designated law is the law of said third country.

      However, even in the practice of law for the original qualifying country, a designated law, or a third country law, which is within the scope of work of the foreign special member, the foreign special member may not do any of the following:

      1. Provide representation in procedures before a court, public prosecutor's office or other governmental agency in Japan, or prepare documents to be submitted to any such agency with regard to such procedures;
      2. Act in the capacity of counsel in a criminal case, act as an attendant in a juvenile protection case, or provide advice in a case involving a fugitive extradition request;
      3. Serve documents involved in the procedures of a foreign court or administrative agency;
      4. Assign notarial deeds stating to the effect that a debtor shall immediately comply with compulsory execution pursuant to a claim directed to the payment of a certain amount of money, or delivery of a certain amount of other commodities or securities;
      5. Provide representation or prepare documents (except expert opinions) in legal cases whose primary purpose is the gain, loss or change of rights concerning real property within Japan, or industrial property rights or mining rights or other rights which arise due to registration with an administrative agency within Japan, or other rights relating to these rights (hereafter referred to as "domestic industrial property rights")

      Even when practicing the law of the original qualifying country, a designated country or a third country, within the legitimate scope of practice by a foreign special member, he or she must work together with a Japanese attorney or receive written advice from an attorney in the following cases:

      1. Legal cases whose primary purpose is the gain, loss or change of rights concerning real property in Japan, or domestic industrial property rights, but which are not covered by 5.) above;
      2. Providing representation or preparing documents (except expert opinions) in cases relating to family relations in which one of the involved parties is a Japanese national.
      3. Providing representation or preparing documents (except expert opinions) in legal cases involving wills or gifts in the event of death relating to assets within Japan and owned by a person residing in Japan, cases involving division or administration of an estate or other inheritance matters relating to assets in Japan and owned by a person who resided in Japan where a Japanese national is one of the involved parties.

      In procedures relating to international arbitration cases handled in Japan (this refers to civil arbitration cases where the arbitration takes place in Japan, and all or some of the involved parties have an address, office or headquarters outside of Japan), representation of an involved party is allowed, regardless of whether the applicable law is Japanese law or the law of a foreign country, and regardless of whether the person is qualified as a foreign special member.

Activities of the Association

  1. Philosophy of the Osaka Bar Association
    Article 1 of the Practicing Attorney Law states: "A practicing attorney is entrusted with a mission to protect fundamental human rights and to realize social justice." The Osaka Bar Association has proposed the following 21st Century Declaration :
    "As the bearers of the rule of law, we aim to be attorneys for the 21st Century. We must make the 21st century the century of the peace and the environment, and the century of respect for human rights - an era where each individual, and the individuality of each person is respected. As we have been entrusted with the noble mission of protecting human rights and achieving social justice, we must realize our potential even more in the new century, and fully achieve our mission."
    In order to follow through on our 21st Century Declaration, the Osaka Bar Association upholds the attorney ideal having five facets, namely: the attorney who strives to protect human rights, the attorney who is friendly and reliable, the attorney with specialized knowledge and skills, the attorney who fulfils his or her duties in the public interest, and the attorney with an international outlook.
    In order to implement the above philosophy, the Osaka Bar Association works to protect human rights through action by committees, provides legal services such as legal counseling, and makes public statements on the enactment and amendment of laws.
  2. Some of our Committee Activities
    1. Human Rights Protection Committee
      If there are suspicions of a human rights violation - like discrimination based on human rights, social status or creed, or brutality by police or in detention centers - the Human Rights Protection Committee conducts an investigation. If the facts indicate a violation of human rights, the Committee acts to protect citizens from human rights violations and unjust treatment by advising the violating group to rectify the situation.
      The Committee has subcommittees in various areas (freedom of speech, criminal procedure, medical care, social welfare, foreign nationals, women, peace and human rights), conducts investigations and research to probe more deeply into human rights issues, and provides services like telephone counseling.
    2. Committee on Racketeering and Prevention of Activities by Non-Attorneys
      The Committee on Racketeering and Prevention of Activities by Non-Attorneys conducts investigations, research and planning of measures against racketeering, and controlling activities of the non-attorneys.
      In bankruptcies, debt collection and other civil dispute cases, so-called "handlers", "liquidators" and "collectors" sometimes intervene in cases using violence, threats and other inappropriate behavior. In these cases, the Committee is primarily involved in providing support and guidance to the victims whose right to a peaceful life has been violated.
    3. Pollution Control and Environmental Protection Committee
      The Pollution Control and Environmental Protection Committee conducts necessary investigations and research on pollution and environmental problems, in order to protect the natural environment and prevent pollution.
      Pollution and environmental problems change with the times, but in any era the issues must be studied from a human rights perspective.
      The Osaka Bar Association is currently working to solve problems in areas like the urban environment, nature conservation, wastes and urban disaster prevention.
    4. Criminal Defense Committee
      The Criminal Defense Committee conducts necessary investigations and performs tasks like recommending public defenders in order to provide more comprehensive and improved criminal defense.
      Criminal defense could be called the starting point of the practice of law. Therefore, the Committee creates criminal defense guidelines to eliminate improper defense, and is studying measures like greater transparency in investigations to improve defense at the investigation stage.
      The Committee also supports on-duty criminal attorneys, as described below.
    5. Consumer Protection Committee
      The Consumer Protection Committee conducts necessary investigations and research concerning consumer problems, with the aim of protecting the consumer.
      Consumer protection problems also change with the times. Currently, the Committee is conducting investigations and research, making proposals, and exchanging opinions with relevant organizations regarding electronic commercial transactions, fair trade, financial products, defective products and consumer credit services.
    6. International Committee
      This Committee is in charge of tasks such as investigating, researching and providing information on international legal problems, and examining foreign special members.
      As stated in the Associations 21st Century Declaration, an international outlook is necessary and indispensable for an attorney. In order to internationalize the members of Osaka Bar Association, the Committee holds seminars on the legal systems of foreign countries, and conducts exchanges within the international legal fraternity.
    7. Children's Rights Committee
      This Committee works on Children's Rights issues in general, conducting investigations and research regarding actual conditions, and making proposals. Children's rights are diverse, but at present the Committee is conducting investigations and research on topics like juvenile cases, human rights in schools, and child welfare. The committee also provides telephone counseling and classes in schools.
    8. Administrative Issues Committee
      This Committee conducts investigations and research on how to achieve greater fairness and transparency in administrative procedures, invigorate administrative litigation (in areas like administrative appeals, and administrative lawsuits), and improve administrative information (i.e. information disclosure).
      Expanding the ability of the judiciary to monitor the executive has been discussed by the Office for Promotion of Justice System Reform, but at present, the Committee is providing legal support for regional decentralization, and proposals for amendment of the Administrative Litigation Law and the Local Self-Government Law.
  3. The Public Defender System and the Duty Attorney System
    1. The Public Defender System
      In Japan, in cases where a defendant cannot hire an attorney due to poverty or some other reason, then the court may appoint an attorney at the defendant's request, or on its own authority.The cost of a public defender is paid by the state, but in principle, if the court finds the defendant guilty, the defendant must bear the costs.
      Many members of the Osaka Bar Association are registered and active as public defenders.
    2. The Duty Attorney System
      The duty attorney system is a system where, before the indictment, and at the request of the suspect who has been physically detained, a duty attorney dispatched from the Osaka Bar Association makes contact with the suspect, and provides the necessary legal assistance. The first visit by the duty attorney is free of charge. The aforementioned public defender system applies to defendants who have been indicted. Therefore, in order to genuinely safeguard the right of unindicted suspects to request an attorney, the Osaka Bar Association has obtained the cooperation of many members, and has been operating a duty attorney system since March 1, 1992.
  4. Some of our Legal Counseling Activities
    1. Legal counseling centers
      The Osaka Bar Association itself operates four legal counseling centers. These legal counseling centers have been opened to provide counseling to citizens regarding their diverse legal problems. They provide legal counseling by attorneys to citizens who have legal problems, and yet risk being disadvantaged because they do not know an attorney they can consult.
    2. General Support Center for the Elderly and Handicapped ("Himawari")
      The Osaka Bar Association operates a center which provides various types of law-related support to elderly and handicapped persons. This primarily involves legal counseling for the elderly and handicapped, referral to attorneys providing services like asset management, and counseling of persons currently admitted to psychiatric hospitals.
    3. Civil Dispute Resolution Center
      This is an ADR operated by Osaka Bar Association. The center has been established primarily to quickly, properly and inexpensively resolve the civil disputes of citizens through outof- court settlement, mediation and arbitration. This program provides ordinary citizens with a center for resolving disagreements.
    4. Osaka Housing Dispute Council
      Based on the "Law Concerning Promotion of Quality Assurance in Housing, etc.", the Osaka Housing Dispute Council was established in September 2000 by the Osaka Bar Association as a civil ADR specializing in disputes related to housing.
  5. Opinion Papers and President's Statements
    During legislative processes like enactment and amendment, the Osaka Bar Association publicizes its views, as opinion papers and in the President's statements regarding laws concerning judicial reform (like the court system and attorney system), laws posing problems from a broad view of human rights, and laws recognizing the necessity for amendment in light of actual legal practice. The Osaka Bar Association works to ensure that its views are reflected in legislation.

Activities for Members

  1. Continuing Legal Education
    The Osaka Bar Association provides opportunities for continuing legal education to its members. Summer seminars are held every year in Osaka Bar Association, and when appropriate, we provide various types of practical training either at the Association, or at outside facilities. At present, we also have four law practice research groups: the International Practice Research Group, the Corporate Law Practice Research Group, the Anti-Trust Practice Research Group, and the Intellectual Property Practice Research Group. Each law practice research group is continually conducting research on its own initiative in its field of specialization.
  2. Disputes
    A Dispute Mediation Committee has been established within the Osaka Bar Association in order to mediate in disputes between attorneys and their clients. In dispute mediation, the Dispute Mediation Committee attempts to mediate between the parties when there is a dispute between an attorney and client regarding the work of the attorney, for example, when there are troubles involving Initial Retainer Fee or Success Fee, or return of deposited money or documents.
  3. Publications
    The Osaka Bar Association publishes a "Monthly Newsletter of the Osaka Bar Association", and a semi-annual "Association Report", and these are distributed to members and relevant groups. The monthly newsletter and semi-annual report give information on the latest activities and events in each committee.
    The Osaka Attorney's Cooperative sells training bulletins which compile the content of previous training material, and other practical publications.
  4. International Exchange
    The International Committee is in charge of investigating, researching and providing information on international legal problems, and organizing international exchange. A global outlook will be indispensable for the attorney of the future, so the International Committee holds training seminars on foreign legal systems, and organizes international exchanges within the legal profession.

Discipline

As described above, one of the foundations of attorney self-governance is discipline by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and the Osaka Bar Association or other local bar associations.

An attorney or legal profession corporation (hereafter jointly referred to simply as an "Attorney") may be subject to disciplinary action: if they violate the Practicing Attorney Law, the articles of association of the bar association to which they belong or of the Japan Federation of Bar Asso-ciations ; if they act in a manner that is prejudicial to the good order or credibility of said bar association; or if they engage in misconduct or unbecoming conduct, whether in the course of or outside of professional duties.

Given the importance of the discipline system, as a foundation of attorney self-governance, the Practicing Attorney Law has been amended to make procedures more efficient, speedier and more transparent, and in April 2004, we started a new attorney discipline system. The discipline procedures in the new system are outlined below.

If a discipline claim is made against an attorney, the Disciplinary Maintenance Committee of the local bar association investigates whether or not there are appropriate grounds for the Discipline Action Committee to inquire into the case. If the Discipline Maintenance Committee determines that it is appropriate to request the Discipline Action Committee to inquire into the case, the Disciplinary Action Committee investigates whether it is appropriate to discipline said attorney. If said Disciplinary Actions Committee decides that discipline is appropriate, the local bar association imposes disciplinary action based on said decision.

With regard to this sort of disciplinary action imposed by a local bar association, if a request to investigate is received from the attorney involved in the disciplinary request, an investigation will be conducted by the Discipline Action Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. If, finally, the Discipline Action Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations decides that discipline is appropriate, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations imposes discipline based on said decision.

If the complainant making the request for disciplinary action is not satisfied with the decision of the Discipline Maintenance Committee or Disciplinary Action Committee of the local bar association, the complainant can file an objection with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. These objections are investigated by the Discipline Maintenance Committee or Disciplinary Action Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, according to the grounds. If, as a result of this investigation, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations rejects or dismisses the objection based on the decision of the Discipline Maintenance Committee, and the complainant making the request is unsatisfied, the complainant can file with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations for a disciplinary investigation by the Discipline Investigation Committee. In cases where the Discipline Maintenance Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations decides not to impose discipline, the Discipline Investigation Committee may investigate based on an application from the complainant requesting discipline.

The members of the Discipline Maintenance
Committee and Disciplinary Action Committee of the aforementioned local bar association and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations are comprised not only of attorneys, but also of judges, prosecutors, scholars, and other such external members, thereby ensuring the fairness of discipline procedures. Furthermore, the Discipline Investigation Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, which has been newly established in the new system, is comprised only of scholars, and excludes from its membership not only attorneys, but also judges and prosecutors.

There are four types of disciplinary measures imposed by local bar associations and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and one of such measures is applied;

  1. Reprimand (Action requiring the attorney to reflect on his or her behavior)
  2. Suspension (Action prohibiting the practice of law for not more than two years)
  3. Order to withdraw from the bar association to which he/she belongs (The attorney ceases to conduct legal practice, but does not lose attorney qualifications.)
  4. Disbarment (The attorney loses attorney qualifications)

If disciplinary action is taken by a local bar association or the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, the nature of the disciplinary action is published in the Official Gazette.

Finance

The Osaka Bar Association is an independent, self-governing organization which is not supervised by any administrative or other governmental agency. In order to maintain its independence, funds for the activities of the Osaka Bar Association are provided mainly from dues, usage fees and other service fees collected from bar association members. Some funding for activities is provided by public and private grants. The yearly financial results of the Osaka Bar Association are reported at the Osaka Bar Association General Meeting held in May of each year. For 2004, general budget expenditures were approximately \3.4 billion, and special expenditures were \2.3 billion.

Facilities

As of 2006, the Osaka Bar Association has 2 buildings: the Bar Association Main Building (with six above ground floors and one basement floor) and the Bar Association Annex Building (with seven above ground floors and one basement floor) located in Nishitemma near the court buildings. The meeting rooms and auditorium in the main building are used for various activities by attorneys and the bar association.The library in the main building is one of the largest libraries of legal books and periodicals, with over 48,000 volumes.
The Bar Association Annex Building functions primarily as a legal counseling center for providing fee-based legal counseling to citizens. The legal counseling center has its headquarters in the Bar Association Annex Building, but also has branches in Namba, Kishiwada and Sakai.

Due to the decrepit state of the Bar Association Main Building, the Osaka Bar Association recently purchased the state-owned land which was the previous location of the old public prosecutor's office (area: approx. 5078m2), and decided to construct a new building on this land with 14 above ground floors and two underground floors. When the construction of the new building is finished, the functions of the current Bar Association Main Building and Annex Building will be combined in the new building.

Welfare

To support the lives and the practices of member attorneys, the Osaka Attorney's Cooperative ("the Cooperative"), the separate cooperative independently organized by the members of Osaka Bar Association, plays an important role. For instance, by collaborating with banks and insurance services such as loans, pension insurance, and damage compensation insurance. Also, the Cooperative publishes books in related fields and arranges training seminars for the clerks, thereby actively supporting the legal practices of the members.

Access & Map

MAP
OSAKA BAR Association
0047 Japan
TEL:+81(06)6364-0251(Information) FAX:+81(06)6364-0252
MAP

Legal Counseling Center

Services
  1. Legal Counseling Legal counseling is available on general matters including Visa Status, Nationality, International Marriage / Divorce and other civil and criminal cases. Attorneys who have professional knowledge in each field will meet you to discuss the matters you may be having a trouble with and will provide you a necessary legal advice.
    * Please understand that depending on matters of your concern, you may be asked to use Introducing and Retaining Attorneys Services(explained below), instead of Legal Counseling Service.
  2. Introducing and Retaining Attorneys Services Those who would like an attorney to represent them in a legal proceeding or intend to retain an attorney may visit the center and submit a special requesting form. Upon receiving a form and hearing the cases, the center will introduce an attorney most suitable for each case.
Opening Days and Hours
Monday through Friday from 9:15~12:00 / 13:00~16:45
Reservation
(Reservation is required for both services)
TEL:06-6364-1248 (Monday through Friday from 9:15~12:00 / 13:00~16:45)
Counseling Days and Hours
Legal Counseling Monday through Friday 13:00~15:00 Introducing and Retaining Attorneys Services Monday through Friday 13:00~15:00
* For your best interest, if you are not conversant in Japanese, we recommend you to have someone fluent in Japanese to make a reservation for you and accompany you to the legal counseling center as translators are not provided.
Fee
¥5,400(for the first 30 min., thereafter charged ¥2,700 per 15min.)
* if you are financially disadvantaged, you may receive assistance from the Legal Aid Association.

Foreigners' Rights Advisory Center

Telephone Legal Counseling available on,
Visa Status, Nationality and other general matters(civil, labor and other cases.)
Opening Days and Hours
2nd and 4th Fridays, 12:00pm~17:00pm
Languages
Japanese, English, Korean, and Chinese TEL 06-6364-6251

What is "Duty Attorney (Toban Bengoshi) System"?

Duty Attorney(Toban Bengoshi) System gives a suspect an access to an attorney at the pre-indictment stage in order to safeguard the right of the suspect and to provide necessary legal assistance.

Attorneys of Osaka Bar Association will be dispatched, at the suspect's request or suspect's acquaintance request, to make contact with a suspect who is physically detained. And if the suspect is a foreigner, an interpreter may also attend the meeting with the attorney.

For foreign persons, in case when an interpreter cannot be provided, we will send in a booklet with advice in English to explain the situations that he/she is in, the legal procedures that he/she may face and the rights that he/she embraces under arrest.

The first consultation with a duty attorney is free of charge, and if the suspect is a foreigner, the fee of interpreter who attends the audience for the first time is also free.

If, after the first consultation, the suspects request the attorney to take the case, such request is for compensation. However, if a suspect is financially disadvantaged, the suspect may receive assistance from the Legal Aid Association.

Therefore, if you or someone you know are arrested, please call the number below or please have someone to call "Duty Attorney(Toban Bengoshi)". Or, if you are interrogated at the prosecutor's office or the court concerning your custody, please ask officers to call "Duty Attorney(Toban Bengoshi)".

For more information or consultation, please call

Duty Attorney (Toban Bengoshi) System
Hotline: 06-6363-0080

The system operates from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. For weekends or national holidays, you may leave a massage on the answering machine and we will soon reach you back for your assistance.

☆Please keep in mind that a duty attorney cannot go to Immigration-Control Center to assist persons detained for the violation of Immigration-Control and Refugee-Recognition Act.

☆For your best interest, we recommend you to have someone fluent in Japanese to call the Hotline for you, as the operators are not conversant in English.

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