Comparative Justice Systems
The major differences among the model nations regarding the education of the legal actors in the court system can be best understood by differentiating between the individuals who are hired through a bureaucratically oriented system and those employed through a politically oriented system. The bureaucratically based system tends to exist in countries that have rational-legal systems, popularly known as the Civil Law systems (Dammer & Albanese, 2013). Such systems tend to have a hierarchical bureaucracy where the entrance is only possible through merit, and employees are usually highly trained to perform special tasks. Among the best or most notable bureaucratic organizations includes Germany, France and Japan.
In a bureaucratically based system, once students have graduated from the general liberal education or completed their specific training, they establish their careers in administration, business or other non-legal fields (Dammer & Albanese, 2013). Those who pursue their careers in the legal field have to choose between undertaking training to become judges, state attorneys or private practice attorneys. This training is meant to help them determine the kind of career they wish to pursue (Dammer & Albanese, 2013). As such, they often spend many years learning, doing exams and apprenticeship for them to receive full accreditation.
For those employed through a politically oriented system, the legislature chooses from judges, political figures with a legal background and other legal scholars to served fixed terms. Although Civil Law systems judges can be chosen through the civil service status based on merit, they can only advance their careers through a political process that involves adjudication by those already in political power (Dammer & Albanese, 2013). This clear emphasis on the relationship that exists between the individuals who are hired through a bureaucratically oriented system and those employed through a politically oriented system.
The court system that I would least like to be involved in as a defendant would be the Japanese legal system. Almost all legal systems around the globe tend to be tough, but fair and the Japanese judicial system is no different. The system is designed to create a safe country by keeping criminals away from the streets. Although Japan is among the countries with very low crime and incarceration, I would least like to be involved in as a defendant in this system because defendants tend to have little chance of acquittal.
Critics of the Japanese judicial system often argue that defendants have very little chance that they will be found innocent when they are accused of a particular crime in Japan. For instance, some studies have suggested that Japan has a 99.3% conviction rate, which implies that the likelihood of a defendant being convicted in Japan is quite high, making it a very difficult place to work as a defendant (CSIS, 2020).
Although the presumption of innocence has to be maintained throughout the trial and judgment process, Japan has a conviction rate remains unusually high; This development is often attributed to Japanese prosecutors’ practice, whose approach to every single case is based on careful examination or after believing that the evidence available is enough for a conviction (CSIS, 2020). This, through scrutiny from the prosecution, explains the high conviction rates in Japan. As such, I would Japan’s legal system would be the least system I would like to be involved in as a defendant due to its strictness and high conviction.
Retributions are meant to make the offenders pay back to society for all the harm they might have caused or done. Offenders undergo rehabilitation through programs that are either based on psychological, educational, economic or medical improvements so that they are transformed into individuals who are law-abiding (Dammer & Albanese, 2013). Deterrence is meant to use different methods like punishment to show the offender that there is no worth in committing a specific crime. Through exile or incarceration, an offender is denied an opportunity to commit any more crimes because they are incapacitated (Dammer & Albanese, 2013). However, in the restoration process, the victim, community and offenders are all involved during the sentencing procedure, which is aimed at restoring both the victim and community. Some countries like China apply administrative penalties for various crimes like encroaching, endangering public safety or disturbing social order. In countries that rely on Islamic justice systems, punishment is often justified through retribution or deterrence, as well as rehabilitation and incapacitating the offender, which is meant to protect the community (Dammer & Albanese, 2013).
Among the most common types of punishment includes life imprisonment, control in freedom, corporal punishment, deprivation of liberty and fines, among others. Life imprisonment tends to be the most severe form of punishment. Prisoners are often used to incarcerate serious offenders whose sentences are longer than one year. On the other hand, jails are used to incarcerate offenders whose sentences are less than a year. However, in some countries, inmates are separated from each other through remand prisons, which are facilities used to accommodate unconvicted offenders.
CSIS. (2020, February). Resolved: Japan’s justice system is fair. Retrieved from https://www.csis.org/analysis/resolved-japans-justice-system-fair
Dammer, H. R., & Albanese, J. S. (2013). Comparative criminal justice systems. Cengage Learning.