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Il-Young Jung

Il-Young Jung

S.J.D. Candidate

Graduate Fellow, Writing TA for Short Writing Projects

ijung at




Constitutional Limitations on War Power and the ‘Peace Constitution’

This research proposal focuses on Japan’s so-called ‘Peace Constitution’, which presents a unique case within the narratives of constitutional restraint in acts of war. Not all wars are forbidden even within the international public law. Just causes of war (jus bellum iustum), such as the principle of self-defense, are still recognized, and any state actor involved will try to legitimize its actions by these words. But article 9 of the Japanese Constitution takes a step further from the others by declaring to “forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes”.  The common view among the constitutional scholars in Japan is that through article 9, Japan entirely gave up its right to war (jus ad bellum), even including its right to self-defense. However, there is a discrepancy between theory and reality, for Japan in fact does have a military in the name of a Self Defense Force, and it is also one of the largest in the world. Hence, the research plans to inquire whether such renouncement of war really has a deterring function in the decision making process of a state. In other words, it is to ask whether an explicit constitutional provision can have a substantive effect in restraining a nation-state from being involved in an act of war, even self-defensive wars, against another nation.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Constitutional Law and Theory with Professor Noah Feldman, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • Japanese Law and Society with Professor Mark Ramseyer, Harvard Law School
  • Foreign Relations in East Asia with Professor William Alford, Harvard Law School

Additional Research Interests

  • Public International Law
  • Legal History
  • Law and Politics
  • East Asian Legal Studies


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2015-Present
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. Program 2014-2015 (requirements fulfilled, degree waived)
  • Seoul National University, Master of Law, 2013
  • Seoul National University, Bachelor of Law, 2004

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Law School, 2018-2019, Graduate Program Fellow, Writing TA for Short Writing Projects
  • Harvard Law School, 2016-2017, Graduate Program Fellow, LL.M. Advisor
  • Seoul National University Law School, 2011-2014, Teaching Assistant for Constitutional Law
  • National Korean Institute of Criminology, 2013, Assistant Researcher
  • Korean Society of Legal History, 2010-2013, Journal Assistant Editor

Representative Publications

  • The Land Reform in Korea Under the US Military Government, Harvard Law School LL.M. Paper, 2015 (awarded Yong K. Kim Prize, 2015)
  • The Formation of a State through Natural Law Theory by Samuel Pufendorf, Seoul National University, 2013

Additional Information

  • Languages: Korean, Japanese, German

Last Updated: August 12, 2018