Workshop on the lay judge trial with Deaf held in Tokushima prefecture

The Social Welfare Association of the Deaf, the National Study Society on Interpreting Issues Tokushima Chapter and the staff of the Tokushima District Court held the workshop on March 4 to examine how they should do when Deaf persons were selected as a lay judge or candidate.

At the workshop, the lay judge election procedure, court proceeding, and the discussion on a penalty were conducted. The staff also explained to 38 Deaf persons and 8 interpreters the case when the person with disability became a candidate or lay judge .

There was a moot court where the Deaf participants sat as a lay judge with three judges. They experienced the arraignment, the opening statement, and examination of witness and then discussed the standing location of an interpreter in court.

One of the Deaf participants (39) said, "It was possible to see caption on the screen and sign language at the same time. Yet it was not possible to check the expression of the defendant. It would be easier to check it if the interpreter stands near behind the defendant".

The association and the interpreters requested the following points that the district court should consider.

-The interpreters are always placed so that the Deaf lay judge or candidate should share the communication with other hearing counterparts,
-The document distributed in court should be also handed to the interpreters before the court starts,
- The monitor should be set up in front of the interpreters, etc.

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