May 8 2014: Postwar Judicial Reforms and the Discourse on the Trial by Jury

Time: 11:15-13:00, Thursday 8th May
Place: Lipsius 005

In this lecture we will first offer a policy analysis of three important waves of judicial reforms in postwar Japan; in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, in the 1960s and in the 1990s. In these periods, judicial policy showed a building up towards the realization of the post-1945 ideals of the democratization of justice. Yet, the long-awaited reforms did not happen until the end of the 1990s. Why did the reforms happen then and not earlier?

Second, we will specifically focus on the changing discourse related to the participation of civilians in the criminal procedure -- trial by jury. Finally, we will assess Japan's most recent experience with the so-called 'lay judge system' (saiban'in seido 裁判員制度) based inter alia on interviews with former jurors.

Last Modified: 10-06-2015