Prof. dr hab. Jacek Izydorczyk
University of Łódź
English abstract: The author describes the Japanese way of criminal justice in practice (law in action). But he shows the Japanese law in action as a ‘product’ of a quite different culture then the culture of Western World. First, presents in a glance history and religion of Japan. Next, shows development of new laws for Japan during XIX century when Japanese decided to ‘escape from Asia’ and join the Western World. Third part of the paper, explains the criminal justice system in contemporary Japan. The main part of the article focuses on Japanese criminal law as an everyday law in action (the law in action quite often very difficult to understand for Westerners). According to the author there are five main examples of those cultural grounds of Japanese criminal law in action. First – the Japanese way of preventing crimes; second – the Japanese idea what is (and what for actually is) criminal law; third – problem of so-called the opportunism principle which really dominates the criminal procedure in Japan; fourth – phenomenon of Boryokudan (Yakuza) in Japan; and last (fifth) – question what actually means the principle of fair trial (i.e. protection of defendants rights) in Japan in real life. The author’s conclusion is simple: law in action always depends from the culture of a country. That is why – when we talk on Japan – much more important is to understand such cultural grounds than just to know the legal system described by official ‘paper laws’.
Keywords: Japanese criminal law, justice, legal culture, prevention
Published: Number 2(15)/2012, pp. 77-91.
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