Lay adjudication is a widely discussed topic in the present-day debate on legal systems. Around the world, a large variety of types of lay adjudication exists. Almost all countries make use of lay people as judges, and many of them have several forms of lay adjudication. This article discusses three models of lay adjudication: the jury, mixed panels, and experts as judges. It elaborates on the issues of legitimacy and the question as to whether lay participation increases various aspects of democracy within the legal system. Advantages and drawbacks are discussed. The article ends with a tentative prospective into the future.
Jacqueline Hodgson and Laurène Soubise
This essay examines the increasingly ambivalent role and status of the French prosecutor, theprocureur. As a judicial officer (magistrat), she is required to act in and to uphold the public interest, but her hierarchical accountability to the executive and her role in the formation and implementation of local criminal justice policy threaten her independence, notably in the eyes of her fellowmagistrats. The dominance of the executive, both politically and through the imposition of managerialist imperatives, is felt in the ever-expanding role of theprocureur, especially in the local sphere. While the limited forms of legal and structural accountability in place leave the prosecutor with broad discretion, this is diminished through the drive to standardization resulting from the delegation of work to fulfill the demands of dealing with greater numbers of cases more quickly, with fewer resources.
John O. Haley
This article discusses the role of public prosecution in Japan’s exemplary record of crime prevention. It begins with an overview of the tripartite process of public prosecution in Japan involving the police, prosecutors, and judges who preside over formal court trials. It then examines the Japanese procuracy and its organization, along with the career paths of public prosecutors. It also highlights the independence of the procuracy from external influences, especially political intervention; public trust in the criminal justice system; and the commitment of judges, prosecutors, and police to truth seeking and obtaining confessions. Finally, the article explains the importance of persuading offenders to accept their accountability to victims in the process of offender correction and community reintegration without incarceration.