Supreme Court of Japan > Judicial System in Japan > Systems for Crime Victims in Criminal Proceedings
In criminal proceedings, the following systems are provided bearing in mind persons who have suffered damage from crime and their families.
Consideration for preferential observation of a trial
Anyone can observe a trial held in open court, in principle. A person who wants to observe a trial does not need to follow a procedure, such as the filing of an application in advance. However, observation tickets may be required in cases for which a large number of people are expected to want to observe, and in such case, the general public cannot observe the trial without an observation ticket.
However, even in such case, if a victim or his/her family makes a request for observation in advance, consideration will be given insofar as possible to preferentially secure their observer seat.
Inspection and copying of the records of a criminal case
A victim of a criminal case may inspect and copy the records of the case, in principle. In addition, if the accused, etc. committed the same sort of crime in a separate case, a victim of the crime in the separate case (a victim of another crime of the same sort) may also inspect and copy the records of the relevant case if it is found necessary for the victim to do so in order to claim compensation for loss or damage.
If you wish to inspect or copy the case record, and you are a victim of the criminal case, please make a request to the court. If you are a victim of another crime of the same sort, please make a request to the public prosecutor.
Participation in a criminal trial
A victim of a certain scope of crime, such as homicide, injury, and causing death or injury due to negligent driving, and his/her family may participate in the criminal trial as a participating victim, with the permission of the court. If you wish to participate in a trial, please make a request to the public prosecutor in advance.
A participating victim who lacks financial resources may seek the appointment of a court-appointed attorney for a participating victim for whom the State finances the attorney's remuneration and expenses. If you wish to have such attorney appointed, please make a request to the Japan Legal Support Center.
Measure of non-disclosure of the name, etc. (particulars identifying the victim) in open court
In some cases, it is possible to request that your name, address, etc. be not disclosed in open court. If you wish for non-disclosure, please make a request to the public prosecutor in advance.
Measure for easing a witness's anxiety or tension
When a person who has suffered damage from crime or his/her family testifies as a witness, the following measures may be taken in order to ease the witness's anxiety or tension.
●When a witness testifies, the witness may be accompanied by his/her family, etc.
●It is possible to have a witness testify without being distracted by the gaze of the accused or observers, by placing a screen or the like between the witness and the accused or observers.
●In some cases, a witness may testify in a separate room linked to the courtroom via a video line.
Statement of feelings and opinions in the courtroom
A person who has suffered damage from crime or his/her family may state his/her opinions in the courtroom. If you wish to state your opinion, please make a request to the public prosecutor in advance.
Depending on the state of the proceedings and other circumstances, the court may have such person submit a written opinion in lieu of stating an opinion in the courtroom.
Statement of a settlement reached concerning a civil dispute in the trial records of the criminal proceedings
If a settlement has been reached with the accused concerning a civil dispute, such as compensation for loss or damage relating to the case, the person who has suffered damage from crime or his/her family may request that the contents of the settlement be stated in the trial records of the criminal proceedings, by making a joint request with the accused to the court hearing the case.
The statement of the contents of the settlement in the trial records has the same effect as a settlement being reached in a civil trial, so if payment fails to be made as promised, the procedure of compulsory execution may be initiated without filing a civil trial.
Petition for an order of compensation for loss or damage
If a criminal case of a certain scope of crime, such as homicide and injury, is pending at a district court, the victim or his/her family may file a petition with the court in charge of the criminal case in order to seek an order that the accused pay compensation for loss or damage.
If you wish to use these systems designed for a person who has suffered damage from crime and his/her family, or if you wish to know more about these systems, please inquire with the court in charge of the case.