Imperial Rule Assistance Association
The Imperial Rule Assistance Association, or Imperial Aid Association, was Japan's wartime organization created by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe on October 12, 1940, to promote the goals of his Shintaisei movement. It evolved into a "statist" ruling political party which aimed at removing the sectionalism in the politics and economics in the Empire of Japan to create a totalitarian one-party state, in order to maximize the efficiency of Japan's total war effort in China; when the organization was launched Konoe was hailed as a "political savior" of a nation in chaos. Based on recommendations by the Shōwa Kenkyūkai, Konoe conceived of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association as a reformist political party to overcome the deep-rooted differences and political cliques between bureaucrats and the military. During the summer of 1937, Konoe appointed 37 members chosen from a broad political spectrum to a preparatory committee which met in Karuizawa, Nagano; the committee included Konoe's political colleagues Fumio Gotō, Count Yoriyasu Arima and ex-syndicalist and right-wing spokesman Fusanosuke Kuhara.
The socialist and populist left wing was represented by Kingoro Hashimoto and the traditionalist military wings by Senjūrō Hayashi, Heisuke Yanagawa and Nobuyuki Abe. Konoe proposed that the Imperial Rule Assistance Association be organized along national syndicalist lines, with new members assigned to branches based on occupation, which would develop channels for mass participation of the common population to "assist with the Imperial Rule". However, from the start, there was no consensus in a common cause, as the leadership council represented all ends of the political spectrum, in the end, the party was organized along geographic lines, following the existing political sub-divisions. Therefore, all local government leaders at each level of village, town and prefectural government automatically received the equivalent position within their local Imperial Rule Assistance Association branch. Prior to creation of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, Konoe had passed the National Mobilization Law, which nationalized strategic industries, the news media, labor unions, in preparation for total war with China.
Labor unions were replaced by the Nation Service Draft Ordinance, which empowered the government to draft civilian workers into critical war industries. Society was mobilized and indoctrinated through the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement, which organized patriotic events and mass rallies, promoted slogans such as "Yamato-damashii" and "Hakkō ichiu" to support Japanese militarism; this was urged to "restore the spirit and virtues of old Japan". Some objections to it came on the grounds that kokutai, imperial polity required all imperial subjects to support imperial rule. In addition to drumming up support for the ongoing wars in China and in the Pacific, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association helped maintain public order and provided certain public services via the tonarigumi neighborhood association program, it played a role in increasing productivity, monitoring rationing, organizing civil defense. The Imperial Rule Assistance Association was militarized, with its members donning khaki-colored uniforms.
In the last period of the conflict, the membership received military training and was projected to integrate with civil militia in case of the anticipated American invasion. As soon as October 1940, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association systemized and formalized the Tonarigumi, a nationwide system of neighborhood associations; the November 6, 1940 issue of Shashin Shūhō explained the purpose of this infrastructure: The Taisei Yokusankai movement has turned on the switch for rebuilding a new Japan and completing a new Great East Asian order which, writ large, is the construction of a new world order. The Taisei Yokusankai is, broadly speaking, the New Order movement which will, in a word, place One Hundred Million into one body under this new organisation that will conduct all of our energies and abilities for the sake of the nation. Aren't we all mentally prepared to be members of this new organization and, as one adult to another, without holding our superiors in awe or being preoccupied with the past, cast aside all private concerns in order to perform public service?
Under the Taisei Yokusankai are regional town and tonarigumi. In February 1942, all women's associations were merged into the Greater Japan Women's Association which joined the Imperial Rule Assistance Association in May; every adult woman in Japan, excepting the under twenty and unmarried, was forced to join the Association. In June, all youth organizations were merged into the Greater Japan Imperial Rule Assistance Youth Corps, based on the model of the German Sturmabteilung. In March 1942, Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō attempted to eliminate the influence of elected politicians by establishing an sponsored election nomination commission, which restricted non-government-sanctioned candidates from the ballot. After the 1942 Japanese General Election, all members of Diet were required to join the Yokusan Seijikai, which made Japan a one-party state; the Imperial Rule Assistance Association was formally dissolved on June 13, 1945. During the occupation of Japan, the American authorities purged thousands of government leaders from public life for having been members of the Association.
Many of the leaders of
Flag of Japan
The national flag of Japan is a rectangular white banner bearing a crimson-red disc at its center. This flag is called Nisshōki, but is more known in Japan as Hinomaru, it embodies the country's sobriquet: Land of the Rising Sun. The Nisshōki flag is designated as the national flag in the Law Regarding the National Flag and National Anthem, promulgated and became effective on August 13, 1999. Although no earlier legislation had specified a national flag, the sun-disc flag had become the de facto national flag of Japan. Two proclamations issued in 1870 by the Daijō-kan, the governmental body of the early Meiji period, each had a provision for a design of the national flag. A sun-disc flag was adopted as the national flag for merchant ships under Proclamation No. 57 of Meiji 3, as the national flag used by the Navy under Proclamation No. 651 of Meiji 3. Use of the Hinomaru was restricted during the early years of the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II; the sun plays an important role in Japanese mythology and religion as the Emperor is said to be the direct descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu and the legitimacy of the ruling house rested on this divine appointment and descent from the chief deity of the predominant Shinto religion.
The name of the country as well as the design of the flag reflect this central importance of the sun. The ancient history Shoku Nihongi says that Emperor Monmu used a flag representing the sun in his court in 701, this is the first recorded use of a sun-motif flag in Japan; the oldest existing flag is preserved in Unpō-ji temple, Kōshū, older than the 16th century, an ancient legend says that the flag was given to the temple by Emperor Go-Reizei in the 11th century. During the Meiji Restoration, both the sun disc and the Rising Sun Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy became major symbols in the emerging Japanese Empire. Propaganda posters and films depicted the flag as a source of pride and patriotism. In Japanese homes, citizens were required to display the flag during national holidays and other occasions as decreed by the government. Different tokens of devotion to Japan and its Emperor featuring the Hinomaru motif became popular during the Second Sino-Japanese War and other conflicts; these tokens ranged from slogans written on the flag to clothing items and dishes that resembled the flag.
Public perception of the national flag varies. Both Western and Japanese sources claimed the flag was a powerful and enduring symbol to the Japanese. Since the end of World War II, the use of the flag and the national anthem Kimigayo has been a contentious issue for Japan's public schools. Disputes about their use have led to lawsuits; the flag is not displayed in Japan due to its association with ultranationalism. To some Okinawans, the flag represents the events of World War II and the subsequent U. S. military presence there. For some nations that have been occupied by Japan, the flag is a symbol of aggression and imperialism; the Hinomaru was used as a tool against occupied nations for purposes of intimidation, asserting Japan's dominance, or subjugation. Several military banners of Japan are based including the sunrayed naval ensign; the Hinomaru serves as a template for other Japanese flags in public and private use. The exact origin of the Hinomaru is unknown, but the rising sun seems to have had some symbolic meaning since the early 7th century.
In 607, an official correspondence that began with "from the Emperor of the rising sun" was sent to Chinese Emperor Yang of Sui. Japan is referred to as "the land of the rising sun". In the 12th-century work, The Tale of the Heike, it was written that different samurai carried drawings of the sun on their fans. One legend related to the national flag is attributed to the Buddhist priest Nichiren. During a 13th-century Mongolian invasion of Japan, Nichiren gave a sun banner to the shōgun to carry into battle; the sun is closely related to the Imperial family, as legend states the imperial throne was descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu. One of Japan's oldest flags is housed at the Unpo-ji temple in Yamanashi Prefecture. Legend states it was given by Emperor Go-Reizei to Minamoto no Yoshimitsu and has been treated as a family treasure by the Takeda clan for the past 1,000 years, at least it is older than 16th century; the earliest recorded flags in Japan date from the unification period in the late 16th century.
The flags belonged to each daimyō and were used in battle. Most of the flags were long banners charged with the mon of the daimyō lord. Members of the same family, such as a son and brother, had different flags to carry into battle; the flags served as identification, were displayed by soldiers on their backs and horses. Generals had their own flags, most of which differed from soldiers' flags due to their square shape. In 1854, during the Tokugawa shogunate, Japanese ships were ordered to hoist the Hinomaru to distinguish themselves from foreign ships. Before different types of Hinomaru flags were used on vessels that were trading with the U. S. and Russia. The Hinomaru was decreed the merchant flag of Japan in 1870 and was the legal national flag from 1870 to 1885, making it the first national flag Japan adopted. While the idea of national symbols was strange to the Japanese, the Meiji Government needed them to communicate with the outside world; this became important after the landin
Ministry of the Army
The Army Ministry known as the Ministry of War, was the cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan charged with the administrative affairs of the Imperial Japanese Army. It existed from 1872 to 1945; the Army Ministry was created in April 1872, along with the Navy Ministry, to replace the Ministry of War of the early Meiji government. The Army Ministry was in charge of both administration and operational command of the Imperial Japanese Army. However, with the creation of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office in December 1878, it was left with only administrative functions, its primary role was to secure the army budget, weapons procurement, relations with the National Diet and the Cabinet and broad matters of military policy. The post of Army Minister was politically powerful. Although a member of the Cabinet after the establishment of the cabinet system of government in 1885, the Army Minister was answerable directly to the Emperor and not the Prime Minister. From the time of its creation, the post of Army Minister was filled by an active-duty general in the Imperial Japanese Army.
This practice was made into law under the "Military Ministers to be Active-Duty Officers Law" in 1900 by Prime Minister Yamagata Aritomo to curb the influence of political parties into military affairs. Abolished in 1913 under the administration of Yamamoto Gonnohyōe, the law was revived again in 1936 at the insistence of the Army General Staff by Prime Minister Hirota Kōki. At the same time, the Imperial Japanese Army prohibited its generals from accepting political offices except by permission from Imperial General Headquarters. Taken together, these arrangements gave the Imperial Japanese Army an effective, legal right to nominate the Army Minister; the ability of the Imperial Japanese Army to refuse to nominate an Army Minister gave it effective veto power over the formation of any civilian administration, was a key factor in the erosion of representative democracy and the rise of Japanese militarism. After 1937, both the Army Minister and the Chief of the Army General Staff were members of the Imperial General Headquarters.
With the surrender of the Empire of Japan in World War II, the Army Ministry was abolished together with the Imperial Japanese Army by the Allied occupation authorities in November 1945 and was not revived in the post-war Constitution of Japan. Under-Secretary of the Army Military Affairs Bureau Personnel Bureau Weapons Bureau Army Service Bureau Administration Bureau Intendance Medical Judicial Bureau Economic Mobilization Bureau Aeronautical Department Economic Mobilization The Army Ministry and Imperial General Headquarters were located in Ichigaya Heights, now part of Shinjuku, Tokyo. Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office Edgerton, Robert B.. Warriors of the Rising Sun: A History of the Japanese Military. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3600-7. Harries, Meirion. Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army. Random House. ISBN 0-679-75303-6. "Foreign Office Files for Japan and the Far East". Adam Matthew Publications. Accessed 2 March 2005
State Shintō describes the Empire of Japan's ideological use of the native folk traditions of Shinto. The state encouraged Shinto practices to emphasize the Emperor as a divine being, exercised through control of shrine finances and training regimes for priests; the State Shinto ideology emerged at the start of the Meiji era, after government officials defined freedom of religion within the Meiji Constitution. Imperial scholars believed Shinto reflected the historical fact of the Emperor's divine origins rather than a religious belief, argued that it should enjoy a privileged relationship with the Japanese state; the government argued that Shinto was patriotic practice. Though early Meiji-era attempts to unite Shinto and the state failed, this non-religious concept of ideological Shinto was incorporated into state bureaucracy. Shrines were defined as patriotic, not religious, which served state purposes such as honoring the war dead; the state integrated local shrines into political functions spurring local opposition and resentment.
With fewer shrines financed by the state, nearly 80,000 merged with neighbors. Many shrines and shrine organizations began to independently embrace these state directives, regardless of funding. By 1940, Shinto priests risked persecution for performing traditionally "religious" Shinto ceremonies. Imperial Japan did not draw a distinction between traditional Shinto. US military leaders introduced the term "State Shinto" to differentiate the state's ideology from traditional Shinto practices in the 1945 Shinto Directive; that decree established Shinto as a religion, banned further ideological uses of Shinto by the state. Controversy continues to surround the use of Shinto symbols in state functions. Shinto is a blend of indigenous Japanese folk practices, court manners, spirit-worship which dates back to at least 600 AD; these beliefs were unified as "Shinto" during the Meiji era, though the Chronicles of Japan first referenced the term in the eighth century. Shinto has no set of doctrines or founder, but draws from a set of creation myths described in books such as the Kojiki.
The 1945 "Shinto Directive" of the United States General Headquarters introduced the "State Shinto" distinction when it began governing Japan after the second world war. The Shinto Directive, defined State Shinto as "that branch of Shinto which, by official acts of the Japanese government, has been differentiated from the religion of Sect Shinto and has been classified a non-religious national cult."The "State Shinto" term was thus used to categorize, abolish, Imperial Japanese practices that relied on Shinto to support nationalistic ideology. By refusing to ban Shinto practices outright, Japan's post-war constitution was thus able to preserve full Freedom of Religion; the definition of State Shinto requires distinction from the term "Shinto,", one aspect of a set of nationalist symbols integrated into the State Shinto ideology. Though some scholars, such as Woodard and Holtom, the Shinto Directive itself, use the terms "Shrine Shinto" and "State Shinto" interchangeably, most contemporary scholars use the term "Shrine Shinto" to refer to the majority of Shinto shrines which were outside of State Shinto influence, leaving "State Shinto" to refer to shrines and practices deliberately intended to reflect state ideology.
Most State Shinto refers to any use of Shinto practices incorporated into the national ideology during the Meiji period starting in 1868. It is described as any state-supported, Shinto-inspired ideology or practice intended to inspire national integration and loyalty. State Shinto is understood to refer to the state rituals and ideology of Emperor-worship, not a traditional emphasis of Shinto — of the 124 Japanese emperors, only 20 have dedicated shrines."State Shinto" was not an official designation for any practice or belief in Imperial Japan during this period. Instead, it was developed at the end of the war to describe the mixture of state support for non-religious shrine activities and immersive ideological support for the Kokutai policy in education, including the training of all shrine priests; this permitted a form of traditional religious Shinto to reflect a State Shinto position without the direct control of the state. The extent to which Emperor worship was supported by the population is unclear, though scholars such as Ashizu Uzuhiko, Sakamoto Koremaru, Nitta Hitoshi argue that the government's funding and control of Shrines was never adequate enough to justify a claim to the existence of a State Shinto.
The extent of popular support for the actions categorized as "State Shinto" is the subject of debate. Some contemporary Shinto authorities reject the concept of State Shinto, seek to restore elements of the practice, such as naming time periods after the Emperor; this view sees "State Shinto" purely as an invention of the United States' "Shinto Directive." "Religious" practice, in its Western sense, was unknown in Japan prior to the Meiji restoration. "Religion" was understood to encompass a series of beliefs about faith and the afterlife, but closely associated with Western power. The Meiji restoration had re-established the Emperor, a "religious" figure, as the head of the Japanese state. Religious freedom was a response to demands of Western governments. Japan had allowed Christian missionaries under pressure from Western governments, but viewed Christianity as a foreign threat; the state was challen
Courts of England and Wales
The Courts of England and Wales, supported administratively by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales. The United Kingdom does not have a single unified legal system—England and Wales has one system, Scotland another, Northern Ireland a third. There are exceptions to this rule. Additionally, the Military Court Service has jurisdiction over all members of the armed forces of the United Kingdom in relation to offences against military law; the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Crown Court, the County Court, the magistrates' courts are administered by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the highest appeal court in all cases in England and Wales. Before the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 this role was held by the House of Lords; the Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal for devolution matters, a role held by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
The Supreme Court has a separate administration from the other courts of England and Wales, its administration is under a Chief Executive, appointed by the President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The Senior Courts of England and Wales were created by the Judicature Acts as the "Supreme Court of Judicature", it was renamed the "Supreme Court of England and Wales" in 1981, again to the "Senior Courts of England and Wales" by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. It consists of the following courts: Court of Appeal High Court of Justice Crown CourtThe Senior Courts of England and Wales, along with the Tribunals and other courts, are administered and supported by HM Courts and Tribunals Service; the Court of Appeal deals only with appeals from other tribunals. The Court of Appeal consists of two divisions: the Civil Division hears appeals from the High Court and County Court and certain superior tribunals, while the Criminal Division may only hear appeals from the Crown Court connected with a trial on indictment.
Its decisions are binding on all courts, including itself, apart from the Supreme Court. The High Court of Justice functions both as a civil court of first instance and a criminal and civil appellate court for cases from the subordinate courts, it consists of three divisions: the Chancery and the Family divisions. The divisions of the High Court are not separate courts, but have somewhat separate procedures and practices adapted to their purposes. Although particular kinds of cases will be assigned to each division depending on their subject matter, each division may exercise the jurisdiction of the High Court. However, beginning proceedings in the wrong division may result in a costs penalty; the formation of The Business and Property Courts of England & Wales within the High Court was announced in March 2017, launched in London in July 2017. The courts would in future administer the specialist jurisdictions, administered in the Queen's Bench Division under the names of the Admiralty Court, the Commercial Court, the Technology & Construction Court, under the Chancery Division's lists for Business and Insolvency, Intellectual Property and Trusts and Probate.
The Crown Court is a criminal court of both original and appellate jurisdiction which in addition handles a limited amount of civil business both at first instance and on appeal. It was established by the Courts Act 1971, it replaced the assizes whereby High Court judges would periodically travel around the country hearing cases, quarter sessions which were periodic county courts. The Old Bailey is the unofficial name of London's most famous criminal court, now part of the Crown Court, its official name is the "Central Criminal Court". The Crown Court hears appeals from magistrates' courts; the Crown Court is the only court in England and Wales that has the jurisdiction to try cases on indictment and when exercising such a role it is a superior court in that its judgments cannot be reviewed by the Administrative Court of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court. The Crown Court is an inferior court in respect of the other work it undertakes, viz. inter alia, appeals from the magistrates’ courts and other tribunals.
The most common subordinate courts in England and Wales are County Court Family Court Magistrates' courts Youth courts The County Court is a national court with a purely civil jurisdiction, sitting in 92 different towns and cities across England and Wales. As from 22 April 2014 there has been a single County Court for England and Wales where there was a series of courts; the County Court is so named after the ancient sheriff's court held in each county, but it has no connection with it nor indeed was the jurisdiction of the county courts based on counties. A County Court hearing is presided over by either a district or circuit judge and, except in a small minority of cases such as civil actions against the police, the judge sits alone as trier of fact and law without assistance from a jury; the old county courts' divorce and family jurisdiction was passed on 22 April 2014 to the single Family Court. Until unification in 2014, county courts were local courts in the sense that each one has an area over
Economic history of Japan
The economic history of Japan is most studied for the spectacular social and economic growth in the 1800s after the Meiji Restoration, when it became the first non-Western great power, for its expansion after the Second World War, when Japan recovered from devastation to become the world's second largest economy behind the United States, from 2013 behind China as well. Scholars have evaluated the nation's unique economic position during the Cold War, with exports going to both U. S.- and Soviet-aligned powers, have taken keen interest in the situation of the post-Cold War period of the Japanese "lost decades". Renaissance Europeans were quite admiring of Japan when they reached the country in the 16th century. Japan was considered a country immensely rich in precious metals, a view that owed its conception to Marco Polo's accounts of gilded temples and palaces, but due to the relative abundance of surface ores characteristic of a volcanic country, before large-scale deep-mining became possible in Industrial times.
Japan was to become a major exporter of silver during the period. Japan was perceived as a sophisticated feudal society with a high culture and advanced pre-industrial technology, it was densely urbanized. Prominent European observers of the time seemed to agree that the Japanese "excel not only all the other Oriental peoples, they surpass the Europeans as well". Early European visitors were amazed by the quality of Japanese metalsmithing; this stems from the fact that Japan itself is rather poor in natural resources found in Europe iron. Thus, the Japanese were famously frugal with their consumable resources; the cargo of the first Portuguese ships that arrived in Japan consisted entirely of Chinese goods. The Japanese were much looking forward to acquiring such goods, but had been prohibited from any contacts with the Emperor of China, as a punishment for Wakō pirate raids; the Portuguese therefore found the opportunity to act as intermediaries in Asian trade. From the time of the acquisition of Macau in 1557, their formal recognition as trade partners by the Chinese, the Portuguese started to regulate trade to Japan, by selling to the highest bidder the annual "Captaincy" to Japan, in effect conferring exclusive trading rights for a single carrack bound for Japan every year.
The carracks were large ships between 1000 and 1500 tons, about double or triple the size of a large galleon or junk. That trade continued with few interruptions until 1638, when it was prohibited on the ground that the ships were smuggling priests into Japan. Portuguese trade was progressively more and more challenged by Chinese smugglers on junks, Japanese Red Seal Ships from around 1592, Spanish ships from Manila from around 1600, the Dutch from 1609, the English from 1613; the Dutch, rather than "Nanban" were called "Kōmō" by the Japanese, first arrived in Japan in 1600, on board the Liefde. Their pilot was the first Englishman to reach Japan. In 1605, two of the Liefde's crew were sent to Pattani by Tokugawa Ieyasu, to invite Dutch trade to Japan; the head of the Pattani Dutch trading post, Victor Sprinckel, refused on the ground that he was too busy dealing with Portuguese opposition in Southeast Asia. In 1609 however, the Dutch Jacques Specx arrived with two ships in Hirado, through Adams obtained trading privileges from Ieyasu.
The Dutch engaged in piracy and naval combat to weaken Portuguese and Spanish shipping in the Pacific, became the only westerners to be allowed access to Japan from the small enclave of Dejima after 1638 and for the next two centuries. The beginning of the Edo period coincides with the last decades of the Nanban trade period, during which intense interaction with European powers, on the economic and religious plane, took place. At the beginning of the Edo period, Japan built her first ocean-going Western-style warships, such as the San Juan Bautista, a 500-ton galleon-type ship that transported a Japanese embassy headed by Hasekura Tsunenaga to the Americas, continued to Europe. During that period, the bakufu commissioned around 350 Red Seal Ships, three-masted and armed trade ships, for intra-Asian commerce. Japanese adventurers, such as Yamada Nagamasa, were active throughout Asia. In order to eradicate the influence of Christianization, Japan entered in a period of isolation called sakoku, during which its economy enjoyed stability and mild progress.
But not long after, in the 1650s, the production of Japanese export porcelain increased when civil war put the main Chinese center of porcelain production, in Jingdezhen, out of action for several decades. For the rest of the 17th century most Japanese porcelain production was in Kyushu for export through the Chinese and Dutch; the trade dwindled under renewed Chinese competition by the 1740s, before resuming after the opening of Japan in the mid-19th century. Economic development during the Edo period included urbanization, increased shipping of commodities, a significant expansion of domestic and foreign commerce, a diffusion of trade and handicraft industries; the construction trades flourished, along with banking facilities and merchant associations. Han authorities oversaw the rising agricultural production and the spread of rural handicrafts. By the mid-18th century, Edo had a population of more than 1 million and Osaka and Ky
Court of Cassation (France)
The Court of Cassation is one of the four courts of last resort in France. It has jurisdiction over all civil and criminal matters triable in the judicial system, is the supreme court of appeal in these cases, it has jurisdiction to review the law, to certify questions of law, to determine miscarriages of justice. The Court is located in the Palace of Justice in Paris; the Court does not have jurisdiction over cases involving claims against administrators or public bodies, which fall within the jurisdiction of administrative courts, for which the Council of State acts as the supreme court of appeal. Collectively, these four courts form the topmost tier of the French court system; the Court was established in 1790 under the name Tribunal de cassation during the French Revolution, its original purpose was to act as a court of error with revisory jurisdiction over lower provincial prerogative courts. However, much about the Court continues the earlier Paris Parlement; the Court is the seat of the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union.
The Court is made up of justices, the Office of the Prosecutor, an Administrative Office of Courts. In addition, a separate bar of specially certified barristers exists for trying cases at the French Court. Overall, the Court consists of nearly 85 trial judges and about 40 deputy judges, each divided among six different divisions: First Civil Division deals with family law, child custody, professional discipline, individual rights, contractual liability Second Civil Division handles divorce and electoral matters Third Civil Division for immovable property, city planning, foreclosures Commercial Division handles companies, business and intellectual property Labor Division handles labor disputes, worker compensation, welfare Criminal Division deals with criminal casesEach division is headed by a presiding justice referred to in French as a président, or President of Division; the Chief Justice bears the title of the premier président, or President of the Court, who supervises the presiding justices of the various divisions.
The Chief Justice is the highest-ranking judicial officer in the country and is responsible for administration of the Court and the discipline of justices. The current Chief Justice is Bertrand Louvel; the Court includes 12 masters, the lowest rank of justice, who are concerned with administration. There is, in addition to the abovementioned six divisions, a separate organization known as the Divisional Court; the Divisional Court adjudicates where the subject matter of an appeal falls within the purview of multiple divisions. The Bench of the Divisional Court seats the Chief Justice and a number of other judges from at least three other divisions relevant to a given case. Any participating division is represented by two puisne judges. A Full Court is called, presided over by the Chief Justice or, if he is absent, by the most senior presiding justice, it seat by all divisional presiding justices and senior justices assisted by a puisne judge from each division. The Full Court is the highest level of the Court.
The prosecution, or parquet général, is headed by the Chief Prosecutor. The Chief Prosecutor is a judicial officer, but does not prosecute cases. Duties include filing originating motions to bring cases before the Court "in the name of the law" and bringing cases before the French Court of Justice, which tries government officials for crimes committed while in office; the Chief Prosecutor is assisted by two Chief Deputy Prosecutors and a staff of about 22 deputy prosecutors, 2 assistant prosecutors. Barristers, though not technically officers of the Court, play an integral role in the due dispensing of justice. Except for a few types of actions, advocate counsel in the form of a barrister is mandatory for any case heard at the Court or Council of State. Barristers with exclusive rights of audience and admitted to practice law in either senior court carry the title of avocat au Conseil d'État et à la Cour de Cassation, or avocats aux Conseils for short. Admission to the Supreme Court bar is difficult, requiring special training and passing a notoriously stringent examination.
Once admitted, bar members can advise litigants on whether their actions are justiciable, that is, issuable and exceeding de minimis requirements—an important service since the Court only hears appeals on points of law and not issues of fact. Membership is considered a public office; the Court's main purpose is to review lower court rulings on the grounds of legal or procedural error. As the highest court of law in France, it has other duties; the Court has inherent appellate jurisdiction for appeals from courts of appeal or, for