Monday, July 21, 2008

Henceforth Criminal Defendants in Japan Will Be Allowed to Wear (Clip-On) Ties and (Fake) Shoes at Their Trials

Japan Times Online reports that criminal defendants will now be allowed to wear clip-on neckties and "and open-back slippers that look like leather shoes." These changes were precipitated by the advent of a new trial system in which lay judges as well as professional judges will preside in trials of serious criminal charges.

Thought is also being given to removing shackles and handcuffs from the accused before the accused enters the courtroom. In addition, under certain circumstances, the accused will be allowed to sit next to counsel, and not, as at present, between two police officers, with defense counsel sitting behind this trio. However, one of the police officers will plant a leg between the feet of the accused and defense counsel. In Japan justice may not be swift but it does have long and sturdy legs.

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