Japan Environmental Lawyers
2nd, Gakko Houjin Akita Gakuen Mei-eki bldg
c/o Asunaro Law Office
4th, StoRK Bldg 1-4-10
Minami-hon machi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-city
Japan Environmental Lawyers Federation (JELF) is a non-profit organization
composed of about 780 members including 530 attorneys and 50 academics
in Japan. It was founded in 1996 in Tokyo and currently has its office
in Nagoya and in Osaka.
JELF was formerly a network of lawyers fighting against development
of golf courses. During the "bubble economy" in the end of 1980s,
golf courses were planned and constructed all over Japan and caused
serious environmental destruction. Many citizens tried to stop those
reckless developments and asked help from lawyers who were willing
to work on pro-bono basis for protecting nature and wild animals.
Because we did not have good legal tools like Environmental Impact
Assessment Law or citizens suits, lawyers had to resort to general
tort theory, or property law often unsuccessfully. Standing is also
a serious problem. Therefore, together with citizens, lawyers had
to develop and elaborate new tactics including national trust activities,
i.e. buying land or trees in the questioned area. The national network
of environmental lawyers was formed and gradually grew up to JELF.
JELF does not have any strict rule about its membership. Any lawyers
who agree with the basic purpose of JELF can join this organization.
We do not exclude lawyers working for government or corporations.
However, due to our history mentioned above, it is not an exaggeration
that almost all important environmental lawsuits or disputes in Japan
involve JELF's member lawyers on environment side. Currently, JELF's
two most important issues areG
1) how we can stop wasteful public works like construction of dams
and highways and
2) how we can prevent contamination by hazardous waste facilities
and clean polluted area safely.
JELF publishes monthly news magazine "Environment and Justice." JELF
also plans to expand its international network. We have opened our
internet homepage in June, 2000. We have also launched a new educational
program which gives young lawyers a chance to study environmental
law and NGOs abroad.
2nd, Yamato Seimei Nagoya bldg