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[22PacRimLPolyJ001] Prosecution Review Commissions, the Public Interest, and the Rights of the Accused: The Need for a “Grown Up” in the Room

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dc.contributor.author Goodman, Carl F
dc.date 2013-01
dc.date.accessioned 2013-02-19T16:22:20Z
dc.date.available 2013-02-19T16:22:20Z
dc.date.issued 2013-01
dc.identifier.citation 22 Pac. Rim L. & Pol'y J. 1 (2013) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1066-8632
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1773.1/1208
dc.description.abstract Carl F. Goodman, Adjunct Professor of Japanese Law, Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University School of Law. Formerly Professor of Law at Hiroshima University and Visiting Professor at the University of Washington (Winter 2012) and Temple University School of Law, Tokyo Campus (2005); Fulbright Scholar Japan (2003). The writer was the General Counsel of the then-Civil Service Commission at the end of the Ford Administration and for approximately the first ten months of the Carter Administration. As such, he had the responsibility of dealing with ethics issues involving government employees, including high-level appointees. He did not support the adoption of the Special Prosecutor provisions of the Ethics in Government Act. Abstract: The recent amendments to Japan’s Inquest of Prosecution Law (popularly called the Prosecution Review Commission (“PRC”) Law) give the eleven lay member PRC (and their court appointed lawyers) unreviewable authority to compel the prosecutions and appeals of defendants who the professional prosecutor service has determined do not require indictment and prosecution. Viewed as “democratic” because it brings lay participation to the criminal justice system, the PRC process differs sharply from the American Federal Grand Jury because it places ordinary citizens at risk of potential retribution and the political system at risk of possible “gaming” of the process for political advantage, much as was the case with the Special Prosecutor’s Law in the United States. To date, PRCs have compelled prosecution of five defendants (of whom two have been found not guilty), one indictment has been dismissed, one defendant is being tried for professional negligence after the professionals on whose advice he relied were found not guilty (in a prosecution by professional prosecutors), and one is on trial despite a serious statute of limitations question. The indictment of a powerful political figure (found not guilty but the court appointed prosecutors have appealed) had serious political repercussions in Japan and caused political turmoil in the first non-Liberal Democratic Party majority elected party and government in the Post War era. This article reviews the PRC experience in comparison to the U.S. experience with the Special Prosecutor Law and the prosecutions mandated by the PRC to date. Five changes to the PRC process are suggested that, while allowing citizen participation in the indictment and prosecution process, would preserve the rights of those accused and protect the national interest. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Seattle: Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, University of Washington School of Law en_US
dc.subject Article en_US
dc.title [22PacRimLPolyJ001] Prosecution Review Commissions, the Public Interest, and the Rights of the Accused: The Need for a “Grown Up” in the Room en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.rights.holder The author retains the copyright in this article and authorizes royalty-free reproduction for non-profit purposes, provided any such reproduction contains a customary legal citation to the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal. en_US

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