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最終更新日:2023年10月20日

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法のパースペクティブ:Outsiders and Criminal Justice in Japan

The criminal justice system in Japan has for decades been characterized by an aura of infallibility supported by an extremely low crime rate. Miscarriages of justice were hardly an issue in the wake of the high degree of professionalism and rigorous approach by prosecutors and judges alike in what is known as “seimitsu shihō” (precise justice): a long and detailed examination of suspects. Yet, the myth of infallibility suffered a severe blow in the 1980s.Flaws were being exposed. One of the foremost experts on criminal procedure in Japan, University of Tokyo professor, Ryūichi Hirano, in 1985 famously assessed that the Japanese criminal justice system was “rather abnormal, even diseased (byōteki)” (Hirano 1989, 129) as the criminal court is ‘simply an institution to check the prosecutors’ determination of guilt “for good measure”’ (Hirano 1989, 131). Hirano’s conclusion that only the inclusion of outsiders such as jurors in a jury system could bring a way out of the traditional scripts of the “hopeless” criminal trials (Hirano 1989, 142). Gradually, the challenges to the criminal justice system in particular, and the legal system in general, resulted in a build up towards a window of opportunity for drastic changes in Japan’s judicial system. An important reform from May 2009 was the introduction of a mixed jury system. For about twelve years, this mixed jury trial has been in operation now. Has it changed the script of the criminal trials in Japan? This question has been central to many recent publications on law and society in Japan. The lay judges attracted most scholarly (and non-scholarly) attention while other non-legal professionals also play an important role in the script of the criminal trials in Japan. Their role has been neglected. In this seminar we will introduce a socio-legal approach to Japan’s criminal justice system and its socio-political context, by paying attention (using methodologies in the field of sociology of law) at a diverse group of “outsiders” in Japan’s criminal process, notably forensic psychiatrists, social workers, victims, forensic scientists, and lay judges. We will also tackle questions related to the path to these changes – history matters, and focusses on their content before turning to how these non-professionals of law operate. In this seminar we will use Erik Herber’s award winning book “Law and Expert Contributions to Japanese Criminal Justice” (Routledge, 2019) as the steppingstone for discussion and guest speakers will also help to answer the important question: “How and why do outsiders’ contributions affect or fail to affect the legal decisions ultimately taken?”
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時間割/共通科目コード
コース名
教員
学期
時限
25-303-162
GLP-LP6216L1
法のパースペクティブ:Outsiders and Criminal Justice in Japan
Dimitri Vanoverbeke
S1 S2
火曜2限
マイリストに追加
マイリストから削除
講義使用言語
日本語、英語
単位
2
実務経験のある教員による授業科目
NO
他学部履修
開講所属
法学政治学研究科
授業計画
第1回 Introduction: Sociology of law and the criminal justice system in Japan: changing policies, changing society: a model for the rest? 第2 回 Forces of Change 第3回 Guest speaker 1 (actor involved in the judicial reforms at the start of the 21st century) 第4回 Psychiatrists and criminal responsibility 第5回 Support at the entrance 第6回 Guest speaker 2 (actor involved in support at the entrance) 第7回 Victim participation: pursuing the therapeutic potential of criminal procedure 第8回 Guest speaker 3 (director of the Therapeutic Justice Center in Japan) 第9回 The science of criminal justice fact finding 第10回 Lay judges and sentencing 第11回 Presentation on specific types of crime in Japan and a more “inclusive approach” (insiders-outsiders): ex. elderly, stokers, kleptomania,… 第12回 Presentation on specific types of crime in Japan and a more “inclusive approach” (insiders-outsiders): ex. elderly, stokers, kleptomania,… 第13回 Presentation on specific types of crime in Japan and a more “inclusive approach” (insiders-outsiders): ex. elderly, stokers, kleptomania,…
授業の方法
双方向的授業を中心に行う その他(演習・発表と議論を中心とする)
成績評価方法
筆記試験を行わない 平常点を考慮する レポートを課す
教科書
なし
参考書
参考書(主) Erik Herber, Law and Expert Contributions to Japanese Criminal Justice (Routledge, 2019) 参考書(その他) Vanoverbeke, Dimitri. Juries in the Japanese legal system: The continuing struggle for citizen participation and democracy. Routledge, 2015.
履修上の注意
Readings will be in English but discussion can be either in English or in Japanese