Opinion Concerning the Establishment of the New Criminal Justice System (No.4)
January 17, 2013
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (“JFBA”) has prepared its“Opinion Concerning the Establishment of the New Criminal Justice System (No.4)”dated January 17, 2013, and submitted it to the Minister of Justice and the chairperson of the“Subcommittee on the Criminal Justice System for a New Era”under the Legislative Council of the Ministry of Justice.
(Secrecy of means of communications and protection of privacy)
1. Since intercepting communications via letter, telephone and email, etc. is an investigation method that constitutes an invasion of secrecy with regard to any and all means of communications and thus constitutes invasion of the privacy of individuals, the scope of the criminal offenses regarding which such method may be used should not be expanded without careful examination and consideration.
2. Since intercepting communication by setting equipment in a residence or in a vehicle is an investigation method carrying a stronger risk of grossly abusing the privacy of individuals, such method should not be introduced.
3. In order to prevent the inappropriate interception of communications and also to protect the secrecy of all means of communications and the privacy of individuals, a system should be established as follows:
A monitoring institution consisting of third parties independent of investigative organizations should monitor and examine i) the status of tapping conducted by the investigative organization, ii) the equipment used for the tapping, and iii) the records of tapped communications. In the case that such monitoring institution discovers that unauthorized tapping has been conducted by the investigative organization, such institution will press charges against such organization or take similar measures.