JAPAN: Supreme Court reckons amending Civil Code provision for illegitimate children

[10 July 2013] - 

According to the Civil Code of Japan, “the share of an illegitimate child shall be half of that of a legitimate child.” However, advocates claim that such provision is an act of discrimination toward illegitimate children and actually violates the Japanese Constitution. The Supreme Court now considers clarifying the Civil Code’s interpretation with regard to these children’s rights.

The top justices of Japan’s Supreme Court gathered on Wednesday to discuss the dispute concerning inheritance rights of illegitimate children. Some showed indication for the need to amend the Civil Code. In a 1995 decision, the country’s chief justice body ruled the 1898 Civil Code provision as respectful to legitimate children while upholding the protection of illegitimate children. It also denied discrimination to the latter. But during the assembly, five of the justices called the Article 900 provision unconstitutional.

A lawyer for an illegitimate child whose father passed away in 2001 insisted on Wednesday that the Civil Code Article 900 provision is actually unreasonable and imposes discrimination, thus unconstitutional. The JapaneseConstitution states that equal treatment should be given to all. “Europe has repealed such discrimination and a relevant United Nations committee has repeatedly recommended that Japan correct this discrimination,” the lawyer reminded. The Supreme Court will have another assembly and is expected to arrive with a final decision this autumn. If it pushes through, it could reverse the current interpretation of Article 900.



pdf: http://japandailypress.com/japans-supreme-court-reckons-amending-civil-c...Association: Japan Daily Press


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