Lay and Expert Contributions to Japanese Criminal Justice  book cover
1st Edition

Lay and Expert Contributions to Japanese Criminal Justice

ISBN 9780367662134
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
206 Pages

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Book Description

This book examines the little or not previously researched roles and contributions of non-legal professionals in Japanese criminal justice against the background of recent social and legal changes that either gave birth to or affected the roles played by these "outsiders". On the basis of a wealth of primary and secondary sources, including meeting records of policy makers and practitioners, surveys, interviews and court verdicts, the book zooms in on forensic psychiatrists’ role in the disappearance of criminally insane defendants from Japanese criminal courts; social workers’ new role in diverting a growing number of elderly, mentally disturbed repeat offenders from prison; the therapeutic dimension added to Japanese criminal justice proceedings with the introduction of a system of victim participation as well as the increasingly important role of forensic scientists’ contributions, notably DNA evidence, in Japanese courts. Finally, it examines lay judges’ contributions to sentencing practices as well as how these lay judges make sense of the other outsiders’ contributions. On the basis of very recent social and legal developments the book provides an original contribution to understandings of Japanese criminal justice, as well as more general socio-legal debates on the role of extra-legal knowledge in criminal justice. The book will be of value within BA and MA level courses on and to students and researchers of Japanese law and society as well as comparative criminal justice and socio-legal theory.

Table of Contents

1:  Introduction;  2: Forces of Change;  3: Psychiatrists and Criminal Responsibility;  4: Support at the Entrance;  5: Victim Participation: Pursuing the Therapeutic Potential of Criminal Procedure;  6:  The Science in Criminal Justice Fact Finding;  7: Lay Judges and Sentencing;  8: Conclusion;  9: Index

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Erik Herber is university lecturer in socio-legal studies and criminology at the Leiden University Institute of Area Studies (LIAS) as well as the Leiden University Law School. He holds a MA in Japanese Studies from Leiden University (The Netherlands) and a MA and PhD in sociology from Tsukuba University (Japan). His main research interests concern crime and criminal justice in Japan, with a particular focus on the role of citizens and other non-juridical professionals in the prevention and adjudication of crime as well as the reintegration of offenders. He is also interested in trends in policies and responses to crime in a comparative perspective, as well as human rights in Japan, in theory and practice.