Macquarie University
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The Environmental Ombudsman and administrative decision making: an assessment of its suitability for Japan

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posted on 2022-03-29, 02:56 authored by Mahito Shindo
"This thesis considers whether the introduction of the institution of an Environmental Ombudsman is feasible and would be effective for improving environmental decision-making processes in Japan. Because the functionality of the Environmental Ombudsman has not been widely researched, the thesis also examines the extent to which the office of the Environmental Ombudsman across certain jurisdictions is effective in improving administrative decision making in environmental matters more generally. The thesis explains the structure of environmental governance in Japan and its effectiveness from the viewpoints of executive transparency and accountability. This includes analysis of some well-known environmental disputes, including a case study on the National Isahaya Bay Reclamation Project. The thesis then uses comparative law and law reform methodologies to analyse the experiences of other jurisdictions that have already established an Environmental Ombudsman. To this end, empirical data were collected through semi-structured interviews in the Australian Capital Territory, New Zealand and Hungary. These jurisdictions are useful comparators for Japan, whose administrative law system is a hybrid of the common law and German-style civil law systems. The principal finding of the thesis is that the introduction of an Environmental Ombudsman in Japan would redress significant shortfalls in the current review mechanisms for administrative environmental decision making. Although successful implementation of such a reform would require some practical impediments to be overcome, it must be emphasised that the introduction of this institution would be an important milestone in the rebuilding of environmental governance in Japan after the TEPCO Nuclear Disaster." -- Abstract.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. Conceptual framework -- Chapter 3. Administrative environmental decision making in Japan -- Chapter 4. Case study: Environmental damage in Isahaya Bay -- Chapter 5. Emergence of the Environmental Ombudsman -- Chapter 6. Functionality of the Environmental Ombudsman -- Chapter 7. Introduction of an Environmental Ombudsman in Japan.


Includes bibliographical references "This thesis is presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Law, Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia".

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University, Australia

Department, Centre or School

Macquarie Law School

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Brian Opeskin


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Mahito Shindo 2013.




Australia New Zealand Hungary Japan


1 online resource (ix, 477 pages) maps (coloured)

Former Identifiers

mq:28309 2066807