Core principles of democracy are important not only in executive and legislative functions, but they are also significant to criminal adjudications. Many countries permit lay citizens to participate in fact-finding and/or sentencing in their criminal justice systems. When a lay person is allowed to judge whether a citizen has violated criminal law, direct democracy is incorporated into criminal justice, and the scope of democracy generally is expanded. Historically, the jury system has evolved as a legal means of expanding the freedom of citizens against political oppression by the state. The use of citizen juries in criminal proceedings takes fact-finding from professional judges and gives it to private citizens. Those lay jurors reflect the opinions of the members of society, which may be disregarded by professional judges who seek to further governmental interests. The recent movement to allow citizen participation in criminal trials in Korea seeks to fulfill the above purpose. To that end, various improvement strategies are needed to revitalize the system to better accomplish the stated goals.
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2013S1A2A1A01034525).
Northern Illinois University Law Review
"Toward Democracy in Criminal Procedure: The Significance & Limitation of Citizen Participation in Criminal Trials in an Attempt to Accomplish Democracy in Criminal Justice in Korea,"
Northern Illinois University Law Review: Vol. 37:
1, Article 5.
Soonmin Kwan, Toward Democracy in Criminal Procedure: The Significance & Limitation of Citizen Participation in Criminal Trials in an Attempt to Accomplish Democracy in Criminal Justice in Korea, 37 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 101 (2016).