In May 2009, Japan will start a new trial system for serious criminal cases in which six lay persons will sit with three professional judges to adjudicate guilt and determine sentence. This lay judge system (裁判員制度: saiban-in seido) will place citizen participation at the centre of Japanese criminal trials – and criminal justice – for the first time since 1943, when the nation’s original jury law was suspended. This chapter explains the rationales for and the political origins of Japan’s new trial system, describes briefly how that system will operate in practice, and assesses its significance for Japan and other Asian nations.
|Title of host publication||New Courts in Asia|
|Editors||Andrew Harding and Penelope Nicholson|
|Place of Publication||UK|
|Publisher||Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|