Justice system reforms

 The judiciary plays an extremely important role in the lives of citizens, including the realization of the rights of citizens, the protection of basic human rights, and furthermore the maintenance of a safe society. In Japan in the 21st century, in addition to societal complexity and diversification and internationalization, the role of the judiciary is expected to become even more important with various changes in society, including transitioning from ex-ante regulation to ex-post facto checks and remedies due to reforms such as deregulation. Therefore, there is the need to build a justice system that can fully strengthen the functions of the judiciary, that is accessible to and can be used by the public, and that responds appropriately to the legal needs of society.

 From this point of view, the Justice System Reform Council was established within the Cabinet in July 1999, and as a result of two-year deliberations, it compiled the Recommendations of the Justice System Reform Council in June 2001. In these recommendations, in order to strengthen the functions of the justice system and contribute to the formation of a free and fair society, broad recommendations for reform of the justice system and improvement of its foundations are included in three pillars: (1) construction of a justice system that meets the expectations of the public, (2) reform of the legal community to support the justice system, and (3) establishment of the foundation of justice among the public.

 The government received these recommendations, worked to realize them, and made a cabinet decision to aim for the completion of a related bill within three years. In December 2001, in order to comprehensively and intensively promote justice system reforms carried out based on the purpose of the Recommendations of the JSRC, the Office for Promotion of Justice System Reform within the Cabinet was established with the Prime Minister as the Chief, the Chief Cabinet Secretary and the Minister of Justice as Deputy Chiefs and all Ministers as members.

 Furthermore, in March 2002, the Cabinet decision was made on the Plan for Promotion of Justice System Reform based on the "Judicial System Reform Promotion Act". Based on the plan, the Office for Promotion of Justice System Reform proceeded with drafting relevant bills, and by the end of December 2004, 24 law proposals were approved and passed by the Diet.

 The Lay Judge System-“Saiban-in System” was launched in May 2009, and all laws related to the reform of the justice system had just come into effect. The Ministry of Justice, which has jurisdiction over the justice system, will continue to promote the implementation of justice system reforms and wants to appropriately conduct necessary reviews of the justice system to make it possible for the public to realize the results of the reforms.

The Ministry of Justice

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