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Criminal Courts

Introduction

In criminal trials, the major purposes are to discover facts, punish criminals, acquit the innocent, safeguard human rights, and to ensure the proper execution of the state's penalty power. When public prosecutors initiate public prosecutions on behalf of the state, or when victims file private prosecutions, the Criminal Division proceeds with open and fair trials in accordance with the principle of "no crime and punishment without law," and facts decided by evidence. In cases where the minimum punishment is not less than three years of imprisonment or the accused is financially unable to retain a lawyer, the court offers public defenders to protect the rights and interests of the accused.

The Branch has a public defender's office. All criminal cases involving felonies punishable with imprisonment exceeding three years, a public defender shall be assigned for the defendant, provided that the defendant has not retained a lawyer. Other criminal cases where the presiding judge deems it necessary, a public defender may also be assigned in the interest of that defendant.

The Traffic Division is in charge of criminal traffic cases and appeal cases filed against the penalty made by the authority concerned in accordance with the "Statute of Traffic Management and Punishment."

The Public Security Division handles the cases referred to it by the police authorities in accordance with the "Statute Governing Hoodlums."

The Layout of Criminal Courts

The Layout of Criminal Courts

The public prosecutor or the attorney of private complainant and the defender of defendant in criminal trial are seated at the right and left sides in front of the seats of judges. The defendant stands before the seat of judges while speaking and goes back to his or her seat after finishing his or her representation. Manacles or fetters of a detention defendant must be released, so that he can speak freely in trial. If an accused commits an offense for which the minimum punishment is imprisonment for not less than three years and has no retained a defense attorney, the presiding judge should assign public defender for the defendant. If it is necessary for the other cases, the same rule will be applied too.