Women’s Access to Justice in Japan – Findings from Civil Litigation User Survey

My paper examines the findings of the Civil Litigation User Survey (CLUS) from gender perspective. The CLUS was conducted three times since 2006, targeting users of civil proceedings in the district courts in Japan. I analyzed the data of the three surveys from a gender perspective. Major findings are: (1) There are significant gender differences in the attributes of the respondents, reflecting the gender gap in Japanese society in general; (2) In pre-litigation behavior, many women consulted attorneys in Japan Judicial Support Center, indicating that women have been facilitated access to justice through the public resources; and (3) Women gave more negative evaluations in 2016 survey to the judicial system and the legal system in general, even though there was no gender difference in their evaluations and satisfaction with their own experience in the proceedings. I discuss the masculinity of the Japanese judiciary as a possible factor creating a sense of marginalization for women.