Jurisdiction is a critical component of civil litigation. Whether a court has jurisdiction or not determines whether it can issue a binding court ruling to the parties. There are two main ways Japanese courts can obtain international jurisdiction: either through international treaties or local Japanese laws. In either case, it may also be necessary to conduct special service of process through the Hague Service Convention.
A judgment at trial declares a winner and a loser to the lawsuit but the losing party still has an opportunity to continue the fight. The losing party may file an appeal with a court of second instance and ask this higher court to review the decision made by the trial judge.
The notary system in Japan is an organization of state licensed notary agents who provide official certification for contracts and other legal matters. By having a notary certify the signing of a contract, the issue of the executing the contract cannot be litigated in court as the notary’s certification removes all doubt that the parties signed the agreement in question. In this way, the notary system reducing the number of contract disputes that end up in litigation.
Similar to a lawsuit in court, parties to an arbitration are allowed to have legal counsel represent their interests to the panel of arbitrators. However, while legal representation in litigation is limited to attorneys licensed in Japan, there is no rule in the Arbitration Act preventing foreign lawyers from representing clients in an arbitration.