Law and Society Association Honors Setsuo Miyazawa

Professor Setsuo Miyazawa

The Law and Society Association is recognizing UC Hastings Law Professor Setsuo Miyazawa’s four decades of service to the field of socio-legal scholarship with two awards—its Stan Wheeler Mentorship Award and its lifetime achievement Legacy Award.

Miyazawa, senior visiting professor of law and senior director of the East Asian Legal Studies Program, has made lasting contributions to the association and the field of socio-legal studies. He has mentored numerous students, colleagues, researchers, and international scholars working to shed light on the legal institutions of Asia and North America in their cultural and historical context.

Associate Dean for Global Programs Keith J. Hand, who has worked with Miyazawa since 2008 to develop the East Asian Legal Studies program at UC Hastings, described him as one of the most influential figures in the Asian law field. The two first met at a Salzburg Global Seminar on Rule of Law in Asia in the early 2000s, when Hand was a young professional.

“It was obvious at that very first interaction that Professor Miyazawa was deeply committed to developing the next generation of experts on East Asian legal systems,” Hand said. “Professor Miyazawa has taught me the importance of building and maintaining scholarly networks across the region and advised me as we’ve developed law school courses on East Asian legal systems and new partnerships in Korea and Japan. He has also inspired me with his unflagging energy and commitment to UC Hastings and to the field.”

Professor Miyazawa has held numerous leadership posts in organizations such as the Law and Society Association, where he twice served on the board, and the Asian Law and Society Association, where he was founding president. He continues to play a mentorship role as president of the Asian Criminological Society, encouraging many of his former students and colleagues to become involved.

Chancellor and Dean David L. Faigman congratulated him on the awards:

“We are all incredibly proud of our longtime and exceptional colleague, Professor Setsuo Miyazawa. We have long known, and have deeply appreciated, Professor Miyazawa’s commitment as a mentor to students, colleagues, and practicing lawyers. He is most deserving of this recognition. He is a model for us all as an outstanding scholar and teacher.”

UC Santa Cruz Professor Hiroshi Fukurai, who nominated Miyazawa for the mentorship award, described his lasting impact in the field through his teaching, research, and writing. For example, he advocated for Japan’s introduction of American-style law schools in 2004 and helped draw attention to the lack of transparency in Japan’s policing and prosecutorial process.

“His vital work,” Fukurai said, “has advanced public debates and policy discussions on domestic and international issues involving crime, justice, and inequality.”

The Legacy Award recognizes Miyazawa’s sustained commitment to the Law and Society Association and lifetime professional achievement.

“We are grateful that you chose to devote your life’s work both to the association and the field of socio-legal studies, which would not be what they are today without your efforts,” New York Law School Professor Penelope Andrews told Miyazawa in delivering the news.

Miyazawa said he is honored to be in the company of the select group of senior scholars who have received the association’s Legacy Award, including one of his professors at Yale University, Malcolm Feeley. He said the mentorship award also has special meaning for him; he studied under the award’s namesake, Stan Wheeler, at Yale in 1975. Also, he thanks UC Hastings for its support.

“I have been able to participate in such activities because UC Hastings has provided a platform for them since 2008,” Miyazawa said. “I would like to express my greatest gratitude to UC Hastings.”