Activities to Deal with Criminal Cases and Juvenile Cases
The Tokyo Bar Association supports suspects, defendants, and juveniles through the on-duty attorney system, the court-appointed defense counsel system, the on-duty guardians for juveniles system, and the court-appointed guardians for juveniles system. The Tokyo Bar Association also supports victims of crime.
Upon receiving a single telephone call, on-duty attorneys meet promptly and free-of-charge (first consultation only) with suspects arrested by the police in connection with crimes. On-duty attorneys explain the criminal process, prospects for the case, and important rights such as the right to remain silent, and also respond to suspects' questions and anxieties.
The Tokyo Bar Association, as a collaborative endeavor by the Three Tokyo Local Bar Associations, operates the Tokyo Three Bar Association On-Duty Attorney Center, which maintains an attorney registry and dispatches attorneys as needed.
Following the initial interview, suspects who desire to continue receiving legal services may consult with the on-duty attorney. Suspects who cannot afford counsel may be eligible for support under the criminal defense assistance program and should consult with the on-duty attorney.
Support for Victims of Crime
The Tokyo Bar Association, as a collaborative endeavor of the Three Tokyo Local Bar Associations, established the Center for the Victims of Crime, which provides emotional and psychological support to victims of certain crimes through telephone counseling and interviews.
In addition, in certain cases victims and their relatives can take part in criminal trials. The Tokyo Bar Association recommends that victims or their relatives who wish to participate in proceedings should seek the support of an attorney. Those who cannot afford an attorney can seek a court-appointed attorney. The Tokyo Bar Association maintains a registry of court-appointed attorneys for victims of crime who wish to participate in a criminal trial.
Suspects and defendants can be appointed an attorney at any time. The national government appoints attorneys for suspects and defendants who claim poverty as a reason for not hiring an attorney. These attorneys are called court-appointed attorneys.
The court sends suspects and defendants a questionnaire regarding attorney appointment, and those who return the questionnaire stating a reason such as poverty are appointed a court-appointed attorney.
The Tokyo Bar Association organizes court-appointed attorneys according to the seriousness of the crime, assigns advocates when citizen judges are involved, and prepares and maintains a registry of court-appointed attorneys.
Activities to Deal with Juvenile Cases
On-duty guardians for juveniles and court-appointed guardians for juveniles
Regarding juvenile crimes, all juveniles, who are referred to the family court and then held in custody by decision of the family court, are informed by the judge that they can have an interview with an attorney free of charge, and if the juvenile wishes to have an interview, the on-duty guardian (defense attorney) meets with him or her. Just as with adult defendants, juveniles who cannot afford an attorney are eligible for the on-duty juvenile guardian program (a system that offers to provide guardians for all types of cases), which is part of the criminal defense support program. For certain major juvenile crimes, a court-appointed guardian may be appointed. The Tokyo Bar Association maintains a registry of on-duty guardians and court-appointed guardians.