Roundtable: Evaluating Japan's New Jury (Saibin-in) System

Roundtable: Evaluating Japan's New Jury (Saiban-in) System
Columbia Law School’s Center For Japanese Legal Studies
Will Convene
November 5, 2008
Press contact: Erin St. John Kelly [email protected]
Office: 212-854-1787 Cell: 646-646-284-8549 Public Affairs: 212-854-2650

October 29, 2008 (NEW YORK) – In early 2009, Japan will introduce a system of lay participation in criminal trials for the most serious offenses such as murder and rape. The new jury ("Saiban-in") system is part of a large package of reforms to the Japanese legal system, such as the formation of American style law schools and an increase in the size of the bar. These reforms are aimed at strengthening the rule of law, increasing citizen participation in the legal system, and creating a more transparent set of rules to govern a modern, global society.

On November 5, Columbia Law School’s Center for Japanese Legal Studies will host “Evaluating Japan’s New Jury (Saiban-in) System,” a roundtable discussion of the new reforms, which will feature perspectives from the Japanese judiciary and prosecutor’s office and American and Japanese academics.
"This round table discussion is a great example of what makes Columbia Law School extraordinary – a Japanese judge, a Japanese prosecutor and a Japanese academic expert on the jury system all are in residence here as visiting scholars on the eve of this important development in Japanese law,” said Professor Curtis Milhaupt, the Director of the Center for Japanese Law at Columbia Law School. “We have a ready-made panel of experts at our fingertips, with top U.S. commentators thrown in for good measure. The Center for Japanese Legal Studies is very proud to host this event.”

Columbia was the first law school in the United States to offer courses in Japanese law. Founded in 1980, the Center for Japanese Legal Studies actively promotes research on Japanese law, aided by the country's premier collection of Japanese legal materials.

WHAT: Evaluating Japan’s New Jury (Saiban-in) System

WHEN: Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 6 p.m. -7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Annex
435 West 116 Street between Amsterdam Ave. and Morningside Drive, New York City. Via subway: #1 train to 116 Street (Broadway)/Columbia University.

SPEAKERS: Nanae McIlroy, Attorney, Public Prosecutor, Ministry of Justice, Japan; Reiko Kaihatsu, Judge, Saitama District Court, Japan; Takashi Maruta Professor of Law, Kwansei Gakuin University Law School; Jeffrey A. Fagan, Professor of Law & Public Health and Co-director, Center for Crime, Community and Law, Columbia Law School

MODERATOR: Curtis J. Milhaupt, Columbia Law School’s Fuyo Professor of Japanese Law, Professor of Comparative Corporate Law and Director of the Center for Japanese Legal Studies, Columbia Law School.
Journalists wishing to attend the forum should contact Erin Kelly at 212-854-2650 or [email protected]

Sponsored by The Kaoru Kashiwagi Fund in Japanese Law, established in 1986 by Mr. Kaoru Kashiwagi.

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in  International and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.