Hoping to A Citzen Judge with View of Gender

In 2004, the Japanese Diet enacted a judicial reform law for a jury system to come into effect by the year 2009. Paving the way for public participation in the judicial process is a significant breakthrough for the realization of democratic ideals. However, there are still a number of unresolved problems with the jury system itself, one of which is the lack of a gender perspective. Legal gender research has called attention to the 'masculinity of the law'. The framework and the practice of law is based on male ideology and there is insufficient implementation of human rights policies for women or sexual minorities. Thus, a jury system must be gender equal and care must be taken not to allow the influence of gender bias in trials. Our group has actively pushed for the government to formulate legislation to address these issues. Although the legislation was not established, we have succeeded in increasing awareness and instigating debate regarding gender issues in a number of meetings of the Lower House Committee on Judicial Affairs.

Senshu Univ. Graduate School : Tamura, Naoko