In criminal trials, the major purposes are to discover facts, punish
criminals, acquit the innocent, safeguard human rights, and to ensure the
proper execution of the state's penalty power. When public prosecutors initiate
public prosecutions on behalf of the state, or when victims file private
prosecutions, the Criminal Division proceeds with open and fair trials in accordance with the
principle of "no crime and punishment without law," and facts decided by
evidence. In cases where the minimum punishment is not less than three years of
imprisonment or the accused is financially unable to retain a lawyer, the court
offers public defenders to protect the rights and interests of the accused.
The Branch has a public defender's office. All criminal cases
involving felonies punishable with imprisonment exceeding three years, a
public defender shall be assigned for the defendant, provided that the
defendant has not retained a lawyer. Other criminal cases where the
presiding judge deems it necessary, a public defender may also be
assigned in the interest of that defendant.
The Traffic Division is in charge of criminal traffic cases and appeal cases
filed against the penalty made by the authority concerned in accordance with
the "Statute of Traffic Management and Punishment."
The Public Security Division handles the cases referred to it by the police
authorities in accordance with the "Statute Governing Hoodlums."
The Layout of Criminal Courts
The public prosecutor or the attorney of private complainant and the defender of
defendant in criminal trial are seated at the right and left sides in front of
the seats of judges. The defendant stands before the seat of judges while
speaking and goes back to his or her seat after finishing his or her
representation. Manacles or fetters of a detention defendant must be released,
so that he can speak freely in trial.
If an accused commits an offense for which the minimum punishment is
imprisonment for not less than three years and has no retained a defense
attorney, the presiding judge should assign public defender for the defendant.
If it is necessary for the other cases, the same rule will be applied too.