4 Consideration for victims in juvenile cases

With regard to juvenile cases the Juvenile Act was amended (by Act No. 142 of 2000) and measures have been implemented since April 2001 to allow victims, etc. to inspect/copy the records of juvenile cases and to request that the opinions of victims, etc., be heard and the results of hearings, etc. made available. In addition, the Juvenile Act was then again amended (by Act No. 71 of 2008) to further protect the rights and benefits of victims, etc. The amendment expanded the range of subjects whose opinions could be heard from July 8, 2008 on. The amendment also put, on December 15, 2008, a system into effect that enabled victims, etc. of certain serious cases to attend juvenile hearings and a system in which family courts should explain the status of hearings to victims etc., while at the same time relaxing the requirements for and expanded the scope of inspections and the copying of records of juvenile cases. In 2009, 1,072 victims, etc. filed requests to inspect/copy the records of juveniles cases (of which 1,051 were deemed appropriate), 282 requests were made for statement of opinions (274 (id.)), and 1,292 requests for notifications of the results of hearings were made (1,284 (id)). In addition, victims, etc. were allowed to attend juvenile hearings in 80 cases (155 persons) and explanations provided on the status of hearings to 421 victims, etc. in 2009 (Source: The General Secretariat, Supreme Court).

Furthermore, in accordance with the enhanced notification system for victims, etc. (See the previous subsection) since December 2007, victims, etc. have been notified of matters regarding the status of the treatment, etc. of juvenile perpetrators under protective measures. Victims, etc. may be notified of, upon request, the name of the juvenile training school where juvenile perpetrators are being detained, the status of their training at that juvenile training school, their date of release, and the reason for their release by the directors of juvenile training schools, matters regarding the commencement of parole examinations and the decision made by Regional Parole Boards, and any matters regarding commencement/status/termination of probation/parole supervision of juvenile probationers and juvenile training school parolees by the directors of probation offices. In 2009 notifications were provided in a total of 203 cases regarding treatment at juvenile training schools, 108 regarding parole examinations, and 312 regarding the status of probation/parole supervision (Source: The Correction Bureau and the Rehabilitation Bureau, Ministry of Justice).