Japan has been borrowing Western customs and incorporating them into its own social traditions. It is leaving behind its traditional customs and aligning with the American criminal justice system, which is more developed and based in common law. These customs include law and governance.
The quasi-jury system, also referred to as the saiban-in, became law in Japan in 2004 but began its official trials in 2009. This system aims to eliminate the domination of the judicial system by the elite in court by using its influence to pressure laypeople into accepting the court’s opinions. This system is also designed to maintain predictable and consistent decisions on sentences and verdicts and to make sure that those decisions reflect but are not entirely determined by the Justice of the Supreme Court (Linnan, 2012). This system also aims to improve the jury trial system and provide a good opportunity for laypeople to participate in the decisions of the court in a meaningful way without sacrificing or affecting the predictable, elite notions of justice and consistency. It also hopes to allow justice officials to pursue policies that are focused on rehabilitating the offenders (Tanenhaus, 2008).
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