Hofstra professor helps Japanese with jury trials
By Kathleen Kerr
January 4, 2009
When Japan introduces jury-like panels to its criminal justice system this year, a Hofstra University law professor who helped train Japanese lawyers for the switch will be watching to see how they fare.
Japan has used three-judge panels for criminal trials since just after World War II.
But advocates of the new system hope the addition of six citizens to the panels that hear trials will help make them fairer.
An ongoing mock trial training system conducted by lawyers likeBarbara Barron, professor of legal writing at Hofstra’s law school, has helped smooth the way for Japanese lawyers never schooled in the jury system.
Barron was one of four lawyers from the United States recruited to participate in the first national trial advocacy training program in Tokyo. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations developed the program to prepare for the changes.