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The age of adulthood in Japan was lowered from 20 to 18 on April 1, 2022, as the revised Civil Code came into effect, making teens aged 18 or 19 possible candidates for lay judges in criminal trials. Is this a good idea?

12 Comments

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yes, but it makes no sense to keep the drinking and smoking age at 20. Now Japan alongside the US has the dumbest laws in the world where you have adults that are too young to do something.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

The actual point would be if having lay judges is the good idea or not. If the process is correct then it should work the same for the new young adults, if the process is faulty and can lead to evidently bad judgments then it would also be a problem without them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yes, if people at 18 years can join the military and fight in a war, then they can also be tried as an adult. Let's just remember that the reason why there's a certain age to be considered as an adult was historically based on whether a person was grown up enough to wear armor during a war. Nowadays, being 18 doesn't necessarily mean one is already an adult, but it also does not mean that if one is under 18, they're not yet mature enough to think like an adult. I think there's enough articles in the crime section of this site to prove that being adult age doesn't mean you're as mature as an adult. I agree with Aly though, if you drop the age to 18, might as well drop the age where they can buy smokes and alcohol.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It is a good idea. Perhaps, lowering it further would be a better idea!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If that’s a good idea or not will surely differ from case to case like with anyone else out of higher age groups, but they just have to be fairly given now proportional representation in the selection process and in all the courts that have lay judges of course too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes. It is a very good idea and about time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why not? If they are now considered adults, treat them as such. Likewise they should be allowed to drink, smoke, and be prosecuted as adults if they commit crimes. The idea that they can vote and do other things, but are too young to drink, is ludicrous, especially when you need to be drunk to vote for the fools in the LDP.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Young blood is needed everywhere in Japan. But law, needs mature minds. Having said that however, I have always considered many of Japans judges as imbeciles. Young fresh minds could bring about much needed law reforms.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I doubt you’d see 3 teenagers at the same trial. There would be more mature minds present.

Lay judges are still better than a jury. Nothing more frightening than your fate being decided by 12 people who didn’t know how to get out of jury duty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Really doesn't matter the judge has the authority to overturn the lay judges and make his/her own ruling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

many countries around the world have decided to make age 15 as age when you get your ID and age 18 as age when you are considered as adult.

means real adult,with full responsibilities for your actions on front of law and society,also allows you to drive a car/if you have licence to drive/,drink alcohol and smoke.also get right to voted and be voted/if you have citizenship/.

according japanese way to be 18yo here is kind of to get a some kind of "part time adulthood" since still cant drink alcohol or smoke...japanese way?yes highly likely.

its like to be a little bit pregnant and also a little bit virgin?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Having teens decide the fate of people charged with crimes - who may or may not be actually guilty - is not something I'd welcome.

Jurors - other than possessing huge dollops of common sense, need to involve themselves in critical analysis, debate, counter-argue, etc all while relying on personal experiences to flesh out their points of view.

That many now adults - over 20s - don't possess such, thrusting this on essentially high school 3rd graders is not a wise choice.

Making life-defining decisions about others is not even beginning to be comparable to the right to smoke or drink.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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