Editorials Jul 29, 2014

Reflecting citizens' views on justice

Japan's Supreme Court decision to reduce the prison terms of a couple convicted of fatally abusing their daughter highlights the difficulty in balancing the need, on one hand, to have ordinary citizens' views reflected in criminal trials through their participation as lay judges and, ...

National May 21, 2014

Top court says lay judge system working well at five-year mark

Nearly 50,000 people have participated as principal or alternate lay judges in criminal trials under the system introduced five years ago, the Supreme Court said. The total stood at 49,434 as of March 31, comprising 36,837 principal lay judges and 12,597 supplementary judges, who serve ...

Editorials May 5, 2014

Improving the lay judge system

As Japan's lay judge system turns 5 years old, the Justice Ministry's Legislative Council is considering excluding citizens from the duty of serving as lay judges when trials are expected to last more than a year.

Editorials Mar 21, 2014

Lay judges' moral dilemma

How does Japan's justice minister respond to a petition from 20 citizens who, as lay judges, agonized over the possibility of having to hand down a death sentence? They call for an immediate halt to capital punishment.