FUKUSHIMA – Five Years On (Invite only workshop)

The event comprised a public lecture on 4 March by Professor J. Mark Ramseyer (Harvard) entitled ‘Nuclear Power and the Mob: Extortion and Social Capital in Japan’, and a workshop on 5 March with a keynote speech entitled ‘The Law and Economics of Nuclear Risks’ by Professor Michael G. Faure (Maastricht).

A seven page report on the workshop by Ruth Effinowicz (Research Fellow and Assistant Lecturer, Institute for International Peace and Security Law, University of Cologne) was published in issue No. 42 of the Journal of Japanese Law:

“Just a few days shy of the fifth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that lead to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, over 70 experts, diplomats, lawyers and senior academics from Japan, the UK and other European countries gathered at Darwin College, Cambridge, to discuss the legal fallout in Japan and lessons (not yet) learned in
Europe. The workshop was convened by Affiliated Lecturer Julius Weitzdörfer with generous support of the Volkswagen Foundation and the Interdisciplinary Centre for East Asian Studies (IZO), Frankfurt, as well as the Faculty of Law, the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), and Darwin College, Cambridge.”

The workshop was featured in several articles:


The 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Accident constitutes a technological accident, a humanitarian disaster, and the largest civil liability case in legal history.

In light of a recent nuclear renaissance, ambitious energy transitions, and aiming to identify concrete policy recommendations regarding the prevention, mitigation, and compensation of future accidents, this international workshop critically addressed the legal challenges and necessary policy lessons from Fukushima.

It was the first to cover all three legal dimensions of the disaster – in public, private, and criminal law – and comprised contributions by international experts pioneering their fields, including the regulation of risk, crisis management, nuclear safety, disaster resilience, environmental and energy law, and dispute resolution for victims. Further contributions treated recent developments in Japan, such as the first judgments awarding compensation for the death of evacuees by suicide and the criminal trial against TEPCO executives for negligent manslaughter.

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