The lay judge system has considerable potential both in concept and form. To realize its full potential, the system needs to overcome various structural impediments and cultural challenges. This Article further contributes to the emerging discussion by detailing three related areas that merit attention and reform if the system is going to realize its full potential. Namely, the lay judge system would benefit from 1) increased transparency by eliminating punitive measures against citizen judges desiring to freely speak about the trial proceedings or deliberation process oncle the trial is complete; 2) impoved access to the interrogation of detained suspects and defendants; and 3) limited victim participation in trials until a post-verdicgt phase in the proceedings. Part I establishes a foundation by outlining the movement towards citizen participation, the reasons underlying the new lay judge system, and the ongoing debate about the law judge system. Part II details the development of the Japanese criminal system. Part III explains the need for increased transparency in the deliberation room, improved access to interrogations, and controls necessary to ensure objective deliberations.
Matthew J. Wilson,
Japan's New Criminal Jury Trial System: In Need of More Transparency, More Access, and More Time,
33 Fordham Int'l L.J. 487
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol33/iss2/5