Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Japan’s Supreme Court Convenes to Consider Discriminatory Inheritance Law

Supreme Court Justices,jpg

As I have previously discussed, the Supreme Court is considering reversing its earlier ruling that a discriminatory Civil Code provision is constitutional.

The law provides that children born out of wedlock are entitled to only half of the inheritance given to legitimate children.  The Supreme Court previously ruled in 1995 that this provision does not unreasonably discriminate, because it respects legitimate children while still protecting illegitimate children.  However, 5 of the 15 Grand Bench justices opposed this 1995 decision.

The Supreme Court “is expected to make a final decision, possibly by autumn, to interpret the Civil Code provision as running counter to the Constitution, which guarantees equality for all under the law.”

See Top Court May Annul Inheritance Disparity, The Japan Times, July 10, 2013.


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