LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor: Professor Hiroshi Oda Other Teachers: N/A


The module covers areas of Japanese law which are relevant to foreign lawyers who are to advise clients in investing in Japan and transacting with Japanese companies. As a result of the “regulatory reform” in the 1990s and the 2000s, the Japanese system has been converted from a parochial and paternalistic system to a more legalistic and transparent system. This is symbolised by the new Company Law of 2005, which is closer to the US law. The system of corporate governance has substantially changed. M&A law, after some incidents, was streamlined. The Securities and Exchange Law was replaced by the new Financial Instruments and Exchange Law. Thus, in almost every area, new laws were enacted or existing laws underwent major amendments. This module is designed to cover these changes in the area of commercial and business law. No Japanese language capability is required. Cases are available in English on-line.


  • Introduction: Japanese Law as part of the Romano-Germanic System
  • Major Role of Case Law – creation of law by judges
  • The Courts - the "Justice System Reform",
  • The Civil Code as the Core of the System of Private Law
  • The Concept of Juristic Acts and the Doctrine of Good Faith
  • Contract Law – conclusion of contracts, interpretation, and non-performance
  • Company Law – the outline of the new Company Law influenced by US law
  • Corporate Governance
  • Directors’ liability
  • M&A and Defensive Measures
  • The New Financial Instruments and Exchange Law
  • Competition law as an instrument of the reform
  • Dispute Settlement – International Commercial Arbitration

Background Reading (optional):

Hiroshi Oda, Japanese Law, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press. 2009

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment in September.

Delivery and enrolment
Lectures/Seminars: 20 x 2-hour seminars
Tutorials: None
Previous module enrolments: Small – less than 15 students
Who may enrol: Small – less than 15 students
Prerequisities: None, no knowledge of Japanese is required
Barred module combinations: None
Core Module for LLM specialism: Comparative Law, Corporate Law, International Commercial Law
Final Assessment: 3-hour unseen written examination
Practice Assessment: Mock examination

This page was last updated on 28 July, 2014


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.

Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014

The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.

The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.