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News | March 28, 2017

RLSO Japan Hosts JCLA Mock Trial

By Lt. Peter Yagel, Region Legal Service Office Japan

Region Legal Service Office (RLSO) Japan hosted a Japanese Community Legal Association (JCLA)  mock-trial for Japanese students from Chuo University and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies at the RLSO Japan Headquarters, Yokosuka, Japan on March 20, 2017.

The mock trial highlighted the process for military jury selection and instructions, opening statements and summation, presentation of testimony and evidence, deliberations, and trial strategy typical of U.S. military court-martial. Capt. Dave Harrison served as the military judge and moderator while RLSO Japan and DSO Pacific personnel role-played the counsel and witnesses in a pre-scripted homicide/self-defense scenario. The students from Chuo University/Tokyo University of Foreign Studies served as the jury.

Prosecutors from Yokosuka and Yokohama and other RLSO Japan personnel observed the proceedings. Following the event, RLSO Japan personnel engaged with law students and prosecutors for comparative law and culture discussions in a more relaxed setting. Going forward, RLSO Japan will identify opportunities to observe Japanese prosecution and continue to provide logistical support to JCLA and other private organizations seeking to enhance U.S. – Japanese cross-cultural interactions of a legal nature.  This was another exceptional opportunity to enhance mutual understanding among U.S. and Japanese legal professionals.  
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