Panel proposes axing bar exam goal


A government panel says the target to increase the number of people who pass the bar exam to 3,000 every year should be scrapped.

The panel, led by Takeshi Sasaki, a former professor at Gakushuin University, also called Wednesday for a cut in the enrollment capacity at law schools and the integration or abolition of underperforming institutes.

The panel’s proposal will be examined at a special meeting of relevant Cabinet ministers on reforming the system for training legal professionals.

The government set the numerical target of 3,000 in 2002, aiming to reach the figure around 2010.

Describing the target as unrealistic, the panel called for research to identify the appropriate number of legal professionals in Japan. The research results should be made public within two years, the panel said.

The panel proposed allowing examinees to take bar examinations up to five times in a five-year period, against the current limit of three, and permitting legal apprentices to teach students at law schools as a side job.