Lay participation in the Japanese justice system: A few preliminary thoughts regarding the lay assessor system (saiban-in seido) from domestic historical and international psychological perspectives

Kent Anderson, Mark Nolan, Information Director

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Authors introduce and critique Japan's proposed quasi-jury or lay assessor system (saiban·in seida). The proposed mixed-court will haue judges and lay people deciding together both guilt and sentences in serious criminal cases. lts proponents haue promised that the lay assessor system will prodllce better justice in the courts aud a more democratic society for Japan. The Authors first expose the competing interests in the lay assessor drafting process, examining I.heir subtly but. importantly varied proposals. Second, the Autlwrs historically review lay participation in Japan, arguing that it has failed to deliver better justice and more democracy because the existing systems have been marginalized by disuse or captured by law specialists. Third. the Authors consider the proposal in light of international psycholog)' research suggesting that early criticism of the system may be circumspect. The Altlhors conclude with cautious optimism regarding the pot.ential of the new Japanese system and (l call for more research to fine-tune the proposal and rightfully introduce it as a comparative global model.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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