A judicial reform law designed to introduce Japan's first quasi-jury system was enacted by the Diet on Friday, paving the way for the system's launch in 2009.

Under the system, six randomly selected citizens will work as lay judges alongside three professional judges to deliver joint verdicts in trials involving serious crimes, including murder and deadly assault.

The citizens, who will be selected from among eligible voters age 20 and older, will be duty-bound to join the bench for these criminal trials, which are estimated to number around 2,800 cases a year.