Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Japan exempts programmers from jury duty because they are “too busy”

The Japanese supreme court is currently developing guidelines as to what type of jobs are allowed to decline jury duty summons for a new citizen judge system, which is planned to be introduced in May 2009.

The current list of excusable jobs in the initial draft includes System Engineer (or, “SE”, which is a bit different from the original meaning. SE is now a Japanese IT industry expression that means senior software engineer). The reasoning behind this decision is that some people feel that the programmers may need to be dispatched for emergency system troubles.

The current bill for the citizen judge system states refusal of duty is only permitted when the selected citizen is: over 70 years old, a student, severely ill, in charge of caring relatives and minors living together, or attending causes brutal mental and/or economical loss

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