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In principle,the first instance trials of criminal cases are conducted by district,summary,or family courts.High courts have jurisdiction over Koso appeals against judgments in the first instance,and the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over Jokoku appeals against judgments in Koso appeals.
District courts are principal courts for the first instance trials,except for offenses subject to punishment by fines or lighter(excluding certain offenses under the Marine Pollution Prevention Law etc.),offenses coming under the exclusive jurisdiction of family courts and offenses over which high courts have the first instance jurisdiction.
Summary courts have the first instance jurisdiction over prosecutions of(1)offenses subject to punishment by fines or lighter,(2)offenses for which fines are stipulated as an optional punishment(excluding offenses under the Pollution Crime Law),(3)habitual gambling,opening of a gambling place for profit,theft,attempted theft,embezzlement,and stolen property,except for those coming under the exclusive jurisdiction of family courts.Summary courts in principle can not sentence imprisonment without labor or heavier punishment,but may sentence imprisonment with labor of three years or less for offenses listed in(3)and other certain offenses.
Family courts deal with juvenile cases and have the first instance jurisdiction over prosecutions of adult criminal cases against the welfare of juveniles under the Juvenile Law(Law No.168of1948)and the Child Welfare Law.
High courts have jurisdiction over Koso appeals against judgments by district,family and summary courts and Kokoku appeals against decisions and orders by these courts(excluding Kokoku appeals under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court)as well as the first instance jurisdiction over offenses of insurrection(The Tokyo High court has the first instance jurisdiction also over certain offenses under the Anti-trust Law).
The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over Jokoku appeals and over Kokoku appeals as specifically stipulated by law.
The first instance trials in district and family courts are conducted in ordinary proceedings for public trial while the first instance trials in summary courts are conducted in ordinary proceedings or summary proceedings.