Sex Crimes in the Lay Judge System and the Prosecution Review Commission in Japan
Room 223, Level 2
Melbourne Law School
Much attention has been paid to the impact of the Saiban-In (Lay Judge) system, which will be 10 years old this May. One of the strongest point of interest is how the sentencing pattern has been changing as lay judges decide not only on fact-finding but also on sentencing with professional judges. In this seminar, Professor Hirayama will analyze how sentencing patterns have changed (or not) for crimes tried by lay judges, and in doing so, The seminar will focus on sex crime cases where the sentencing has been increasing since the introduction of the Lay Judge System.
The seminar will discuss why there has been gap between sentencing for sex crime cases tried by bench trials and lay judge trials. On the other hand, the indictment rate for sex crime has been decreasing. Professor Hirayama will also discuss how this tendency can be analyzed in the context of the lay judge system.
The seminar will also focus on the reformed Prosecution Review Commissions (PRC), which is also an important form of lay participation in criminal justice system in Japan, in the context of sex crime cases. In some sex crime cases, professional prosecutors are quite reluctant to indict especially when they think it is hard to prove. The seminar will explain what can be expected of the roles of PRCs in order to improve many problems in criminal justice policy for sex crime cases.
Professor Mari Hirayama, Hakuoh University
Professor Mari Hirayama
Mari Hirayama is a Professor in Criminal Procedure and Criminology at Hakuoh University, Japan. She has a longterm involvement in the law and civil society responses to confessions and miscarriages of justice in Japan.