Flow of Trial Procedure

Procedure of Trial Date

 First Trial (First Trial Date)

 Initial Appearance

Question to the accused for identification

To make sure whether a court gets the wrong person, a judge makes the accused stand in front of the stand, and asks to the accused his/her name, address, registered domicile and occupation.

Reading of the charging sheet

A public prosecutor reads the charged fact which is subject to the proceedings of the trial. The accused needs to listen carefully to check over the content of the charged fact comparing with the fact that the accused had experienced.

Notification of the right to remain silence

A judge notifies the accused of the right to remain silence. For example, a judge might say, “you may refuse to answer some of the questions or you may remain silent throughout the trial.

However, any statement made by you in this court may be used as evidence either for or against you. Therefore, answer questions keeping this rule in mind”.

Statement by the accused and the defense counsel

A judge asks whether the facts read by a public prosecutor is true or not. And then, the judge seeks a comment on the case charged to the court from the defense counsel.

 Procedure of Examination of Evidence

Opening statement

A public prosecutor gives an explanation to make clear the facts of the crime and the circumstances leading to the perpetration which he is going to explain after this.

Examination of evidence submitted by the public prosecutor

The public prosecutor requests the court to admit the evidence to prove the charged facts. Then, the defense counsel makes an opinion concerning the prosecutor’s request for examination of the evidence. The defense counsel expresses his agree or disagree with the written evidence, and objection or non-objection concerning other evidence.

Based on those, the court makes a judgement on evidence, and examines the evidence he adopted.

Examination of evidence submitted by the defense

The defense counsel requests for examination of evidence, and after listening to the public prosecutor’s opinion the court decides whether it adopts the evidence or not. Then, the examination of the adopted evidence is to be carried out.

Examination of witness (normally start with request from the side of the public prosecutor)

Where both public prosecutor and the defense or either of them request for examination of a witness, the procedure to examine a witness is to be taken. Generally, the side which requested is to do examination in chief, and then be subject to a cross-examination, and after that, a judge/judges ask supplementary questions.

Question to the accused

At the end of the examination of evidence, questions against the accused are to be asked. First, the defense counsel asks to the accused, secondly the public prosecutor dose, and then the judge asks supplementary questions.

 Closing Argument and the Prosecution’s Demand for Punishment to the Accused

The public prosecutor makes a closing argument on the facts and application of law based on evidence examined in the court room. Finally, he gives an opinion on the punishment that should be given to the accused.

 Defense Counsel’s Closing Argument

The defense counsel makes a final argument on the case. If there are some particular points of rebuttal regarding the facts, the counsel explains that the public prosecutor has not proven such points enough to recognize the facts. Or, if there are no point of rebuttal regarding the facts, the counsel explains the extenuation and makes a final opinion requesting clemency such as suspended sentence.

 Defense’s Final Statement

In closing, the accused is to be given an opportunity to make a final statement by the judge before closing a trial.

Conclusion of a Trial

 Pronunciation of Judgement

In one or two weeks after closing a trial, the judge delivers the text and reasons for judgement.

Pretrial Arrangement Proceedings (Article 316- 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure)

Article 316 – 2 (1)

“When the court deems it necessary to conduct productive proceedings of a trial consecutively, systematically and speedily, the court may, after hearing the opinions of the public prosecutor and the accused or his/her counsel and prior to the first trial date, order on a ruling that the case be subject to a pretrial arrangement proceeding as trial preparation for arrangement of the issues and evidence of the case.”

The pretrial arrangement proceedings are the proceedings to arrange the case as the preparation for a trial before the date of the first trial to conduct fulfilling proceedings of a trial expeditiously. As the prior provisions concerning the pretrial preparation came short, the 2004 amendment of the code of criminal procedure established the new provisions regarding the pretrial preparation.

The pretrial arrangement proceedings are necessarily held in cases triggering the lay judge trial (that is serious cases). The pretrial arrangement proceedings are also held in cases which are so complicated that it is expected to have lot of points of issue, or those which the accused denies the charge and are asserting his/her innocence.


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