This book describes the state of the lay participation system in criminal justice, saiban-in seido, in Japanese society. Starting with descriptions of the outlines of lay participation in the Japanese criminal justice system, the book deals with the questions of what the lay participants think about the system after their participation, how the general public evaluate the system, whether the introduction of lay participation has promoted trust in the justice system in Japan, and the foci of Japanese society's interest in the lay participation system. To answer these questions, the author utilizes data obtained from social surveys of actual participants and of the general public. The book also explores the results of quantitative text analyses of newspaper articles. With those data, the author describes how Japanese society evaluates the implementation of the system and discusses whether the system promotes democratic values in Japan.
Masahiro Fujita is Professor of Social Psychology, Faculty of Sociology, Kansai University. He received LL.B., LL.M., and Ph.D. in Law from the University of Tokyo and M.A. in Human System Sciences from Hokkaido University, both in Japan. He first specialized in Japanese criminal law, and then he proceeded to social psychology to integrate the viewpoints and methodology of jurisprudence and social psychology. He started to study the saiban-in system in 1999 when he was a master's course student at the time of the infancy of the system. He adopted the methods of experimental group decision making the study and social survey. While he was a Ph.D. student, he became an assistant professor at National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, Japan. After he completed his Ph.D. thesis, he expanded his research in the field of personality, trust, and "language and law." After he moved to Kansai University as an associate professor at the Faculty of Sociology, he became a visiting scholar of the Center for the Study of Law & Society at the University of California, Berkeley on his sabbatical. He is an active member of the Law and Society Association in the United States, Japanese Society for Law and Psychology, Japanese Psychological Association, The Japanese Association of Sociology of Law and other related academic societies. He had been a member of the board of trustee of JSLP for nine years. He has been a member of editorial board of the Japanese Journal of Law and Psychology.