Hiroshi Fukurai


Direct participatory democracy touches Japan anew in its current attempt to reform and reconstruct the criminal justice system through the introduction of two tiered systems of quasi-jury (saiban-in) and grand jury (kensatsu shinsakai) institutions. Not only did the twin systems of lay deliberation help create an effective and investigative mechanism against the corporate predation and governmental abuse of power, they also allowed the prosecution of military crimes committed by U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families stationed in Japan. My paper then examines the historical evolution of these newly established lay justice institutions, exploring the increasing adoption of lay forms of adjudication as both de-colonial and emancipatory agents of social change in Japan.