Tokyo court docket guidelines granting custody to 1 dad or mum after divorce constitutional

The building that houses institutions such as the Tokyo District Court can be seen in this file photo taken in the Chiyoda district of Tokyo on November 29, 2018. (Mainichi / Naotaka Ito)

TOKYO – Tokyo District Court on Feb. 17 dismissed a man’s lawsuit against the national government for damages alleging that provisions of the Civil Code that allow parental authority to be exercised over a parent after divorce are unconstitutional are.

In its decision, the court, presided over by Judge Shin Matsumoto, denied the man’s application for 1.65 million yen (approximately $ 15,583) in damages. In his ruling, Matsumoto said: “Parental authority is a right that exists for the benefit of children and it is extremely difficult to interpret it as one of the human rights guaranteed by the Japanese Constitution. The rules are rational.”

The man’s legal team argued at the trial, “The rules are contrary to the constitutional respect for individuals and treat issues between fathers and mothers in a discriminatory manner.”

Matsumoto acknowledged that parenting brings rewards as parents develop personally and are enriched by raising children. But he also pointed out that a parent who loses custody in a divorce does not cease to be a parent and that they do not lose those rewards through the parental authority of a single party.

The judge also said that the gist of the rules regarding custody and education is, in part, making decisions timely and appropriate to facilitate them, and that they have an appropriate legislative purpose. He said that how the relationship between parents and children, which forms the basis of the family system, should be managed and whether joint custody should be recognized after a divorce should be left to the discretion of the national parliament.

Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa asked earlier this month about a review of the legal system regarding the way children are brought up after parents divorce in the Department of Justice’s Legislative Council, and it is intended to discuss joint parental authority.

(Japanese original by Kazuhiro Toyama, City News Department)

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