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Message from the Head of the Institute

The Nishimura Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), established in 2007, is a research institute aimed at bridging legal theory and legal practice.

Much like the study of medicine, by necessity, law is founded upon practicality. As such, there is a close and inseparable relationship between theory and practice in the field of law. Practice that is not supported by theory is fragile, and theory that is not backed by practice is void of substance. As a researcher of law, I have witnessed first-hand the emptiness of theories that ignore real-life practices. NIALS was established based on an understanding of the close relationship between theory and practice, and with the aim of drawing upon the world of legal practice in order to enhance legal theories.

Of course, bridging legal theory and practice is easier said than done. In establishing NIALS back in 2007 despite fully recognizing the difficulties, they demonstrated its enthusiasm and commitment to the cause, as did Mr. Akira Kosugi’s initial greetings. I also remember being deeply impressed by the sophisticated conceptualizations of the lawyers involved in those early stages.

NIALS welcomed Professor Seiichi Ochiai as its first Head of the Institute. This role was later passed on to Mr. Nobuhiro Nakayama, and the Institute has been active to this day. The activities carried out by the Institute range from organizing workshops and lectures to issuing publications. However, in all cases, the original philosophy of bridging legal theory and practice remains as our guiding principle. We believe it is our duty to make further developments using the resources and traditions that have been passed down to us, for the sake of posterity.

I believe that acts of defining oneself often reveal our true nature. It is a fact that people, organizations, and others in society are able to gradually achieve certain results by continuing to define themselves in a desired manner. As such, I believe that with the passage of time and our collective identity as the Nishimura Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, aimed at bridging legal theory and practice, the true values of the Institute will also become clearer.

Moving forward, NIALS will continue to uphold its philosophy that has existed since its establishment, and to make sincere efforts to create greater links between legal practice and theory in Japan.