Moot court for the Deaf conducted in Kagawa Prefecture
The moot court to examine what consideration was necessary for the Deaf/hard of hearing being elected a lay judge was held in the Prefecture Welfare Center for the Deaf located in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture on February 6.
It was a part of the training that the Takamatsu District Court and the Center have attempted to improve the use of interpreting and note taking at the lay judge trial since last June. About 60 people including the judge and Deaf/hard of hearing persons participated.
The trial body was composed of the five people in total: the judge, one hard of hearing person, one Deaf, and two hearing. The court staff acted as the public prosecutor, the lawyer, and the defendant. They all discussed the robbery case with little evidence in the crime site, which the defendant denied.
The Deaf lay judge asked the defendant in sign language, and the hard of hearing woman orally questioned him. They put together their thoughts hard on the cues from the defendant, the prosecutor, and the lawyer while seeing the sign language and textual messages.
Even amount of punishment was not possibly examined because of lack of time though the five-person trial body decided guiltiness by the common assent in the meeting.
After the mock court, both the Deaf man and hard of hearing woman who participated as a lay judge pointed out the problem such as "They spoke too fast", "It was possible neither the note taking on the screen nor the sign language interpreter at the same time".