Going, Going, Ghosn

(Mar 2020) Following Carlos Ghosn's flight from prosecution, Tim considers whether Japan's legal system merits the criticism it has received (from Mr Ghosn in particular).


  • Former Nissan head Carlos Ghosn’s arrest in 2018 and recent dramatic escape to Lebanon by private jet from Osaka concealed in a “gear” case has led to loud criticism of Japan’s “hostage justice” system both from within and outside Japan.
  • Ghosn and his wife claim that it would be impossible for him to receive a fair trial and that he was stitched up in a coup d’état by his enemies at Nissan. Are they right?
  • Tim Marrable has dusted off his Japanese legal textbooks and taken a look at the reality behind the Ghosn’s claims. His conclusions are that some areas of Japan’s criminal litigation procedure are clearly in need of reform, but that some of the more outlandish claims from overseas about their unfairness are based on misinformation, or stem from a failure to appreciate that such procedures are not so different from similar ones in other jurisdictions