Why Is the Japanese Conviction Rate So High?
AbstractConviction rates in Japan exceed 99 percent -- why? On the one hand, because Japanese prosecutors are badly understaffed they may prosecute only their strongest cases and present judges only with the most obviously guilty defendants. On the other, because Japanese judges can be reassigned by the administrative office of the courts if they rule in ways the office does not like, judges may face biased career incentives to convict. Using data on the careers and opinions of 321 Japanese judges, we conclude that judges who acquit do indeed have worse careers following the acquittal. On closer examination, though, we find that the punished judges are not judges who acquitted on the ground that the prosecutors charged the wrong person. Rather, they are the judges who acquitted for reasons of statutory or constitutional interpretation, often in politically charged cases. Thus, the apparent punishment of acquitting judges seems unrelated to any pro-conviction bias at the judicial administrative offices, and the high conviction rates probably reflect low prosecutorial budgets instead.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Law and Economics with number 9907001.
Date of creation: 12 Jul 1999
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on Wintel 95; to print on ;
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://184.108.40.206
Japan; judges; political economy; prosecutors; convictions;
Other versions of this item:
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- N45 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Asia including Middle East
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Pushkar Maitra & Russell Smyth, 2004. "Judicial Independence, Judicial Promotion and the Enforcement of Legislative Wealth Transfersâ€”An Empirical Study of the New Zealand High Court," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 209-235, March.
- Padovano, Fabio & Fiorino, Nadia, 2012. "Strategic delegation and “judicial couples” in the Italian Constitutional Court," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 215-223.
- Lars P. Feld & Stefan Voigt, 2004.
"Making Judges Independent – Some Proposals Regarding the Judiciary,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1260, CESifo Group Munich.
- Lars P. Feld & Stefan Voigt, 2004. "Making Judges Independent – Some Proposals Regarding the Judiciary+," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200429, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
- Huang, Kuo-Chang & Chen, Kong-Pin & Lin, Chang-Ching, 2010. "Does the type of criminal defense counsel affect case outcomes?: A natural experiment in Taiwan," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 113-127, June.
- Mongrain, Steeve & Roberts, Joanne, 2009.
"Plea bargaining with budgetary constraints,"
International Review of Law and Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 8-12, March.
- Steeve Mongrain & Joanne Roberts, 2007. "Plea Bargaining with Budgetary Constraints," Working Papers dp07-07, CRABE, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
- Joanne Roberts & Steeve Mongrain, 2008. "Plea Bargaining with Budgetary Constraints," Working Papers 2008-06, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 29 Jan 2008.
- Mark Ramseyer, 2009.
"Convictions versus Conviction Rates: The Prosecutor's Choice,"
American Law and Economics Review,
Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 47-78.
- Eric Rasmusen & Manu Raghav, & Mark Ramseyer, 2008. "Convictions versus Conviction Rates: The Prosecutor’s Choice," Working Papers 2008-16, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
- Steeve Mongrain & Joanne Roberts, 2009. "Plea Bargaining with Budgetary Constraints," Working Papers 2009-05, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 23 Jan 2009.
- Martin Schneider, 2005. "Judicial Career Incentives and Court Performance: An Empirical Study of the German Labour Courts of Appeal," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 127-144, September.
- Manu Raghav, 2006. "Why do budgets received by state prosecutors vary across districts in the United States?," Caepr Working Papers 2006-018, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.