Parricide, Equality and Proportionality: Japanese Courts' Attitudes Towards the Equality Principle as Reflected in Aizawa v Japan
The Aizawa case is a landmark case in Japan's judicial review jurisprudence. It is the first case in which the Supreme Court of Japan held a legislative act unconstitutional under Article 81 of Japan's Constitution. It is also the first of the five cases in which the Supreme Court has declared a provision unconstitutional on the ground of infringement of the equality principle enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution. In this paper the author first attempts to clarify the basis the Aizawa court adopted in exercising its power of judicial review.. Secondly, he expands on how cultural values affected the court's judgment in the Aizawa case and analyzes the courts' attitude towards the equality principle and the spirit of western law in general from a cultural and historical perspective.