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Reforming Japanese Criminal Justice: Juries, Victims, and a Robust (?) Adversary System

Colloquium with Law professor Daniel Foote, Tokyo University and UCLA Terasaki Chair in US-Japan Relations.

Monday, February 22, 2010
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
UCLA Faculty Center
Hacienda Room
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Over the past few years, Japanese criminal justice has undergone major reform. The most highly publicized change has been the introduction of the “jury” system (technically, a lay participation system) for serious criminal cases. Other reforms are less well known, but potentially of even greater practical importance. These include a series of steps designed to strengthen the adversary system; measures recognizing interests of crime victims; and significant increases in criminal penalties. Professor Foote has been following Japanese criminal justice for over twenty-five years. In this talk, he will begin by tracing the roots of the recent reforms and the ills they were intended to remedy. He will examine the forces that led to enactment of the reforms, the debates surrounding the reforms, and reaction to the reforms. He will close by considering the impact of the reforms to date and offering thoughts on future prospects.

Download file: foote.pdf

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