Statement of GS

Statement: Labor Tribunal Law Approved

28 April 2004
Tadayoshi Kusano
General Secretary
  1. The Labor Tribunal Law was approved at the plenary of the House of Councillors today. According to the new Law, professional judges and experts with special knowledge and experiences of labour-related issues would try a case, offer arbitration and, in the event of not reaching a solution, determine a proposed settlement (which differs from a judgement in that it becomes invalid when a party lodges an objection). The Law will be in force within two years as of the date of the promulgation of the Law.

  2. Major features of the Law include:
    1. A trial would be conducted by a labor tribunal committee composed of three labor arbiters: a district court judge and two labor specialists who have extensive knowledge and experience of employment and industrial relations.
    2. A trial would take place in a district court, settling a case by offering arbitration or determining a proposed solution. Proceedings could be carried out regardless of the objection of the other party.
    3. A trial should be completed within three times.
    4. Both parties could lodge an objection to the decision within two weeks. If no objection is lodged, the decision would be given the same validity as a settlement in juridical terms.
    5. If an objection is lodged to the decision, the objection would be considered as made at the court where the trial has taken place at the time when the request for a trial has been made

  3. In response to increasing individual labour disputes and in order to solve a dispute in a speedy, fair, simple and economical way without making troubled workers suffering in silence, Rengo has proposed a participatory judicial system where non-professional judges and professional judges participate at the equal footing. It is a stepping stone towards the introduction of such participatory system in that proceedings could be carried out without agreement of the other party, a determined effect would be given the same valid as a court settlement, and lodging an objection would be considered as filing a lawsuit with a court. Rengo sees the labor tribunal system with a positive manner.

  4. As clarified in Diet deliberations, pending problems are to select one thousand industrial judges and to ensure that labor arbiters demonstrate their experience in the process of a trial standing in a fair, neutral position. To this end, an adequate training programme for specialists from labour and management is necessary. Public awareness and relations activities should be promoted by courts, bar associations and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in order for as many workers as possible to benefit from the system. As a trial should be concluded within three times, consciousness and attitude of judges and lawyers towards a trial should be also reformed.

    Rengo is determined, as one of labour organisations, to live up to workers' expectation and work on the selection and training of industrial judges.