Each country’s judgment is valid only in that country, as making a judgment is a sovereign act of the country. However, if a judgment ordered in a foreign country can be given the same effect as a judgment in one’s own country, the burden on one’s country will be reduced. For that reason, modern nations are actively adopting a system to recognize foreign judgments. But unconditional recognition can put your country’s judicial system at risk. Therefore, when certain conditions are met, a system is adopted to recognize the effect of the judgment of a foreign court.
The most remarkable of these conditions is “do not violate public order and morals.” If the contents ordered by a foreign court do not conform to the legal consciousness and legal system of one’s own country, it cannot be recognized. In fact, there are cases in which the judgment of the United States has been denied recognition in Japan. One is a judgment ordering punitive damages, and the other is a judgment that allows a child born by a surrogate mother to have a parental relationship with her genetic mother. Neither of these was recognized, because each violated Japanese public order and morals.
In this lecture, apart from the legal system of each country, I would like to consider why these conclusions are different between Japan and the United States.
—Yukihiro Okada, Professor of Law at Doshisha University
Presented by the Doshisha University and Amherst College Faculty Exchange Program. Please note that this lecture will be in Japanese.