Citizen Participation in Japanese Criminal Trials: Reimagining the Right to Trial by Jury in the United States

68 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2013  

Jon P. McClanahan

UNC School of Law

Date Written: March 27, 2012

Abstract

If the United States were to reform contemporary jury trials to match the Founders’ conception of the right to trial by jury, how might they look? In recent years, we have gained insight into how to answer that question from an unlikely source: Japan.

This Article examines the introduction of citizen participation into the Japanese judicial system (the saiban-in seido) from a different perspective. Rather than focusing on the contemporary American jury system, this Article evaluates the Japanese reforms in light of the Founders’ conception of the right to trial by jury. It is this conception of the right to trial by jury, rather than its modern formulation, that positively influenced the creation and adoption of the saiban-in seido. Moreover, American legal scholars and professionals should closely evaluate the reforms in Japan to determine how aspects of the new Japanese system might be introduced in the United States to more fully effectuate the Founders’ conception of the right to trial by jury.

Keywords: trial by jury, comparative law, japan, legal history, international law, criminal juries, criminal procedure

Suggested Citation

McClanahan, Jon P., Citizen Participation in Japanese Criminal Trials: Reimagining the Right to Trial by Jury in the United States (March 27, 2012). North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2012; UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2253065. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2253065

Jon P. McClanahan (Contact Author)

UNC School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unc.edu/faculty/directory/mcclanahanjonp/

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