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Measuring Judicial IndependenceThe Political Economy of Judging in Japan$
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J. Mark Ramseyer and Eric B. Rasmusen

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226703886

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226703879.001.0001

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Administrative Disputes: Taxpayers against the Government

Administrative Disputes: Taxpayers against the Government

Chapter:
(p.82) 5 Administrative Disputes: Taxpayers against the Government
Source:
Measuring Judicial Independence
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226703879.003.0006

Consistently, the Japanese government wins in court. Crucially, it does not win by manipulating the career judiciary to produce biased courts. Japanese judges do not enjoy better careers if they favor the government in mundane cases. Instead, it most likely wins because as a rational repeat player it disproportionately selects for litigation those cases that will shift precedent in an advantageous direction. In mundane administrative litigation involving disputes between the government and taxpayers, the system favors accurate judges rather than biased judges. Those judges who find their opinions reversed on appeal do incur a penalty. Those judges who occasionally favor taxpayers incur none.

Keywords:   taxpayers, Japanese government, administrative litigation, biased courts, Japanese judges, litigation

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