Daniel Halliday
Jan 14 · Last update 6 mo. ago.

Following the Carlos Ghosn case should Japan review its criminal justice system?

As Ghosn remains in pre-trial detention into the New Year and prosecutors further the investigation, the Japanese criminal justice system is coming under increasing criticism internationally regarding the treatment of Ghosn. The former Nissan chairman, accused of various instances of financial misconduct, has been granted limited access to legal representation and no access to his family as an increasing number of charges mount to prolong his detention while the investigation continues. Following the conclusion of this case should the country consider reviewing its criminal justice system? bbc.com/news/business-46859444
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Many reforms are needed prior to Japan’s criminal justice system
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An unusual system in need of reform
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Justified for case such as this
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Many reforms are needed prior to Japan’s criminal justice system

Following the release of Ghosn on bail it is important to take into consideration the actions of key associates of Ghosn’s such as Jose Munoz, described as a key person of interest who suddenly resigned from Nissan following the probe and refused to cooperate with the investigation. Events like this seem to indicate some guilt or knowledge of his associates, indicating an environment of normalised corruption, something we can also see in practices such as the widespread under-reporting of tax in many large multinational corporations. Japanese courts could arguably be in need of limited reforms, however corruption issues surrounding government, press freedom, corruptive societal influences and systemic corrupt business practices that are widespread not only in Japan but globally, probably need more desperate attention. But reforming a functional legal system in a country with a fairly low overall crime rate is probably not the most efficient path of reform here. japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/01/12/business/nissan-expands-carlos-ghosn-probe-countries-ousted-chairmans-deputy-comes-scrutiny/#.XDw1SFUzapp

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Daniel Halliday
Mar 17
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An unusual system in need of reform

The Japanese criminal justice system is unlike many other systems, being originally based on the German and French criminal justice systems but having been reformed various times since it was adopted. Japan’s criminal justice system has a massive 99% prosecution rating, similar to authoritarian countries like Russia or China, and prosecutors can detain suspects for 23 days without charge, as they have done in Ghosn’s case, multiple times. The system has therefore gained criticism from numerous international human rights organisations and this situation will likely see further backlash internationally, the Japanese government should show some effort to reform the system and remove this reliance on forced confessions.

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 12
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Justified for case such as this

The Ghosn case is a special case in which a foreign national has probably stolen large sums of money from a Japanese company with a complex network of convoluted international transfers and shell company investments. If Ghosn is released on bail judges and prosecutors likely fear him fleeing the country or worse trying to interfere with this elaborate system that will count as evidence against him, effectively destroying evidence that could incriminate him. Ghosn will likely sway the case or flee if released so Japanese court and prosecutors are making a routine decision to ensure justice is served in such a high profile case.

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Daniel Halliday
Jan 14
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