• Kyodo News


The Supreme Court decided Wednesday on a set of rules to select and pay lay judges in the new criminal trial system to begin in 2009, including authorizing a daily stipend of up to 10,000 yen, officials of the top court said.

The rules will be promulgated in early July, the officials said.

Under the system to begin at 60 district courts and branches nationwide by May 2009, six eligible voters randomly selected as lay judges will work together with three professional judges in trials dealing with murders and other serious crimes.

Among the rules decided Wednesday, courts will first summon 20 to 30 people as candidates.

The courts will ask the prospective judges if they have any reason for refusing to serve as a lay judge. Prosecutors and defense lawyers can each exclude up to four candidates. The six serving lay judges will be picked by lottery from the remaining candidates.

Citizens who are summoned for lay judge duty but not chosen will be paid up to 8,000 yen a day.

Separately, accommodations fees of up to 8,700 yen will be paid if court visits require overnight stays.

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