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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 September 10 - 16  > Legal training prohibiting part-time work unconstitutional: ex-trainees
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2014 September 10 - 16 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Legal training prohibiting part-time work unconstitutional: ex-trainees

September 10, 2014
Young lawyers on September 9 filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court claiming that the abolition of the scholarship program for legal trainees is a violation of the right to work guaranteed by the Constitution.

The plaintiffs are 110 lawyers who finished their mandatory training in December 2013. They demanded that the state pay 10,000 yen to each plaintiff as compensation. Similar lawsuits are to be filed at district courts in Sapporo and Kumamoto in October.

During the one-year training period, legal trainees are obliged to receive training from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays and study on weekends. They have to go to any training site the Supreme Court orders them to go to. They are prohibited from working part time and have to sign a confidentiality agreement.

The plaintiffs argue that such legal traineeship is a kind of public work, but the government in November 2011 abolished the scholarship program which effectively worked as work compensation.

At a press conference after the filing, Lawyer Ishii Shusuke, who heads the plaintiffs’ group, said, “We had to complete the one-year training with no income to cover daily expenses. We want to change this unreasonable situation.”

Already, 211 lawyers, who finished the legal training in December 2012, are fighting court battles in Tokyo, Nagoya, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka.

Past related articles:
> 211 young lawyers in lawsuit claim abolition of scholarship program to be unconstitutional [August 3, 2013]
> Legal trainees call for reinstatement of scholarship program [January 31, 2013]
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