- 法社会学 (ISSN:04376161)
- vol.1997, no.49, pp.198-202,247, 1997-03-30 (Released:2009-01-15)
Japanese judges usually spend their entire legal career as judges. Many of their legal jargons are unique to their professional circle and reflect their cognitive structure about legal issues."Suji" and "suwari" are among such most frequent jargons. "Suji", whose lexical translation is "line", is often used in a phrase "suji ga warui", meaning "suji is bad for this case". Such a phrase might be translated into "this case has a bad logic or an unclear background". The phrase is typically used to describe civil cases, and is less often spoken of by other legal professionals. "Suwari", whose direct translation is "well-seatedness" is similarly phrased, but it is, arguably more often used to describe judgments that are already made at courts of lower level.The present study is an attempt to give quantitative description of these two concepts by a cognitive psychological approach. As the first stage of our study, we made intensive interviews to seven retired or current judges. Based upon the interview result, we structured the questionnaire.As the second and final stage, we sent out the questionnaires to all the retired judges in Japan (1, 120), out of which 339 were returned. The respondents were asked to respond in psychological judgment scales, to fictitious cases in which some crucial details were manipulated as experimental variables. Statistical analyses on these variables are worked out to render experimental description of these concepts as correlates to and functions on more direct legal perceptions.