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2014 January 22 - 28 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Lawyers’ group opposes stiffer penalties for young offenders

January 24, 2014
The Japan Lawyers Association for Freedom on January 22 issued a statement demanding that the government not give tougher punishments to young delinquents by amending the Juvenile Law.

The statement criticizes a draft amendment as going against the principle of the Juvenile Law which places a high priority on young offenders’ sound development.

It states that the Legislative Council of the Justice Ministry spent an insufficient amount of time for discussions of the bill. Under the bill, more juvenile delinquents will be punished under the criminal law and it will be even more difficult for them to return to society, the statement stresses.

In September 2012, the Justice Minister drew up the draft bill to have prosecutors handle juvenile cases more frequently and impose severer punishments on young offenders. The minister referred the draft to its advisory panel which approved it only after less than ten hours of deliberation.

The government plans to submit the bill to the upcoming ordinary session of the Diet.
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