The system of civil participation in criminal trials is considered one of great achievements of judicial reform in the early 2000s. As it has been over ten years since the current judicial system was implemented, it is also evaluated as having achieved significant perfor mance during this period in terms of democratic legitimacy and credibility building in the judiciary. On the other hand, the final form of civil participation in criminal trials has not yet been legislated, and is currently in a state of neglect. This study aimed to comprehensively evaluate the system of civil participation in criminal trials and propose related policy and legislative plans, from a critical perspective of this situation. To this end, the following research was conducted.
First, the main contents and issues were identified by analyzing data from various committees on civil participation in criminal trials, the findings of an awareness survey on the introduction and implementation of civil participation in criminal trials, precedent studies, relevant reports in the press, and revised bills of the relevant laws from the 18th National Assembly to the 20th National Assembly. Second, using the official statistics regarding civil participation in criminal trials, the status of their operation from 2008 to 2018 was examined. Third, the sentencings of first trials and appeal trials in criminal trials with civil participation were analyzed, and then such trial cases were classified intojudgments of acquittal, judgments of conviction, and appellate judgments. Fourth, as a key empirical study, in-depth interviews and large-scale surveys were conducted on the general public, jury, defendants, and legal experts(judges, prosecutors, lawyers). Through this, achievements and tasks of the system of civil participation in criminal trials were derived. Finally, policy and legislative plans to support the enhancement of the system were presented by integrating all the findings.