Sexual Violence in Japan: Implications of the Lay Judge System on Victims of Sexual Violence
Yumi E. Suzuki, Ph.D.

Although sexual violence is a serious crime, victims of such crime in Japan may not see their perpetrators face criminal sanction or social disapproval. Faced with unsupportive legal and social environments, victims of sexual violence tend to remain silent upon victimization. However, under the lay judge system where six randomly selected citizens and three professional judges adjudicate serious criminal cases, the public has a voice in the criminal procedure to impose appropriate sentences for perpetrators of sexual violence. With evidence of lay judges’ imposition of stiff penalties for sexual violence and interest and enthusiasm in criminal justice matters, victims of sexual violence may anticipate improved responses from the criminal justice system and society. Such a favorable legal environment may further lead to society’s stance to reconsider sexual violence as a serious crime and that victims of such crime bear no blame.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jlcj.v4n1a5