Clarke East Asian Short Banner

Citizen Participation in East Asian Legal Systems

Sponsored by the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture
September 22-23, 2006,
Room 276 Myron Taylor Hall,
Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY.

Workshop organizer: Valerie Hans, Cornell Law School

This workshop examines the proposed introduction of lay decision makers into the legal systems of Japan, Korea, and other countries in East Asia. This is an opportune time to consider theoretical and research questions about the role and impact of citizen decision makers in law. In 2009, Japan will introduce the "Saiban'in" system, a decision making body jury of three law-trained judges and six lay citizens who will decide some serious criminal cases. In Korea, a Presidential Reform Commission has undertaken research and has proposed the introduction of a jury system; jury legislation is due to be considered this year. Legal reformers in Thailand and China are calling for more open access and greater involvement of citizens in their legal systems. These proposed changes raise fascinating questions about the relationship between the citizenry and the legal system. The law reform process and the impact of such changes will be discussed as we reflect on the phenomenon of citizen participation in law.


  • Kevin Clermont – Cornell Law School
  • Masahiro Fujita - National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Japan
  • Hiroshi Fukurai – University of California, Santa Curz
  • Valerie Hans – Cornell Law School
  • Sanja Ivkovic – Florida State University
  • Min Kim – City University of New York
  • Sangjoon Kim – Supreme Court, Korea
  • Richard Lempert – University of Michigan Law School
  • Sherry Martin – Cornell University
  • Takashi Maruta - Kwansei Gakuin University
  • Bernie Meyler – Cornell Law School
  • Frank Munger – New York Law School
  • Steven Penrod – City University of New York
  • Eva Pils – Cornell Law School,
  • Stephen Thaman – St Louis University
  • Neil Vidmar - Duke Law School

Conference Schedule

Friday September 22, 2006

4 p.m:  Welcome and introduction to the conference: Valerie Hans and Annelise Riles

4:15-6:15 p.m:  Session one:  Legal Consciousness and Citizen Participation in East Asian Countries

Chair: Valerie Hans, Cornell Law School

  • Frank Munger, New York Law School, The Formation of Legal Consciousness among Thai Citizens
  • Eva Pils, Cornell Law School, People’s Jurors and Other Vehicles for Citizen Involvement in China’s Legal System
  • Sherry Martin, Cornell University, Legal Consciousness and Political Socialization: Japan vs. US
  • Hiroshi Fukurai, University of California, Santa Cruz, Legal Consciousness, Legitimacy, and Citizen Participation in Law in Japan
  • Steven Thaman, St Louis University, Why Should Citizens Be Legal Decision Makers?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

8:30-10:30 a.m:  Panel Two:  Law Reform and the Citizen’s Role in the Legal Systems of East Asian Countries

Chair:  Kevin Clermont, Cornell Law School

  • Bernadette Meyler, Cornell Law School, The Trials and Tribulations of the English Jury: Some Lessons for Emergent Systems of Lay Participation
  • Judge Sangjoon Kim, Supreme Court, Korea - The Law Reform Process in Korea
  • Takashi Maruta, Kwansei Gakuin University, The Jury, the Saiban'in System and Japanese Law Reform
  • Neil Vidmar, Duke University Law School, World Jury Systems and East Asian Countries

11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m:  Research Panel: What Does the Emerging Research Tell Us, and How Should We Study the Introduction of Citizens as Decision Makers in East Asian Legal Systems?

Chair: Steven D. Penrod, City University of New York

  • Masahiro Fujita, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Japan, Planning for Lay Participation in Japan: Ideas from Research
  • Min Kim, City University of New York, Research on Juries versus Mixed Tribunals in Korea
  • Sanja Ivkovic, Florida State University, Insights from Research with Mixed Tribunals
  • Richard Lempert, University of Michigan Law School, Research Strategies and Sociolegal Theory: The Value of a Multi-Nation Study of Citizen Participation in Legal Decision Making